This came up on my Facebook memories today & it is still very relevant and worth sharing (scroll to read the full paper).
It’s what drives ‘Bridge the Gap’ The research is there to support all we say - starting children at school at a young age has detrimental effects on their emotional well-being.
Why do we choose to ignore this?
‘When children have educational experiences that are not geared to their developmental level or in tune with their learning needs and cultures, it can cause them great harm, including feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and confusion’.
With more children than ever before developing mental health problems, it is critical that policy makers start looking at the full picture, the whole child, from the very beginning.
Cutting down on time needed to build the strong foundations in their three prime areas of development has a huge effect later down the line. You can build for so long on weak foundations but continue to build on them and what you’ve built will crumble.
‘In Finland and some other developed countries, formal academic education doesn’t start until the age of 7, when children are deemed to be mentally and physically ready for the challenge (though students in Finland have had access to high-quality preschool, which would affect their performance in kindergarten)’.
I will never stop being an advocate for change in our education system, but in the meantime I will strive to ensure we are doing all we can to support children’s emotional development. If teachers and educators work together we CAN help to bridge the gap that our system has created.
Our children deserve it 🌈
Jennifer Wyman is founder of Bridge the Gap and an emotional education consultant and trainer. A qualified early years practitioner and mum of two with over 21 years experience within the early years sector.