Daycares pressured to teach youngest kids instead of letting them play
The Childcare Branch Organization is worried about political plans to impose learning objectives on young children in an attempt to tackle learning disadvantages. Children up to age six should be given space to play because it teaches them creativity and resilience, director Emmeline Bijlsma of the organization said to NOS.
On Thursday, a parliamentary committee will discuss childcare. Several political parties proposed establishing a curriculum with learning objectives in daycare with the idea to let daycare help tackle learning disadvantages. But young children's brains are not ready for "school learning" - offering and repeating information, Bijlsma said.
"Children from 0 to 6 learn by playing," Bijlsma said. Playing is not an optional extra for this age group. "By forcing them into school learning, you interrupt children's development." Playing helps young kids lay the foundation for performing at school alter, she said. "If we take the sandbox as an example, you see that children discover the material and get to know structures. They build castles, and when it collapses, they learn to deal with adversity and find solutions." They also learn how to work together with other kids. "Those are all skills you need in school."
According to Bijlsma, the proposed "school approach" assumes that young children are able to absorb the information. "But that takes away the essence of playing. Children learn by having fun, not through testing." Daycare staff know how to "guide and enrich" play so that children continue to learn, she added.