The role of early child care programs in enhancing child development and family involvement

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Parents are a child’s first teacher and they play an important role in their child’s learning and development. Children who receive responsive and consistent care giving early in life develop secure attachments to their parents/caregiver, which helps with their growth and learning. The Executive Director of Faith Discipleship Ministries International (FAMI) Rev.Samson Basome who was the chief guest during the graduation ceremony at God cares Day care and Nursery School encouraged the Government to invest more money in Early Child hood Development through training and equipping Parents to help their children grow physically, socially, spiritually and mentally.

He quoted Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” How?

  • Parents should train Children in values: e.g ways of greeting, welcoming visitors, and ways on how to interact with others in an acceptable way.
  • Obedient to Parents and authority
  •  Decision making. Children should help parents to choose right friends and dangers of coming up with a wrong choice.
  • Team spirit and Unity
  • Playing to a common goal
  • Caring more for others than ourselves-Not interrupting, Being respectful:  Not stealing, Not complaining, Not being jealous-Not bragging and not giving in to peer pressure.
  • Sharing with others.

He also noted the Aspects of Children’s growth and Development here he quoted: Luke 2:52. This verses “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” breaks the boy Jesus’ life into 4 subgroups [He grew in 4 ways]:

  1. Wisdom                    =      Mentally
  2. Stature                      =      Physically
  3. Favour with God      =      Spiritually
  4. Favour with Man      =      Socially

Luke tells us, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” The emphasis seems to be on the balance. The four areas of Jesus’ growth provide a blueprint for what every parent and grandparent wants for their young.

Jesus grew in wisdom. (Mentally): This text seems to suggest part of his development was normal and natural. I am sure that Mary and Joseph, just as all parents want their children to learn and grow. We’re proud when our kids do well in school.  But what is our role as Parents in this aspect of Child’s growth and Development?

  • We need to encourage, challenge, and make learning and growing a priority in our Children.
  • Interaction and Early stimulation. Parents need to interact with Children and give them stories to test their listening skills and ask them questions that make them to think or use their brain.
  • Parents also need to ask questions that help children to grow mentally or intellectually such as: Why do we bathe?  Why do we eat? Why are we at home now and not at School when it is a schooling time?
  • Effective Problem solving skills through simple routine at home. Parents need teach children how to count, add and subtract at home. How many are we at home? Give them sticks to count, add and subtract. Sweeping, mopping the house, making the bed.
  • Time management (Parents need to teach Children how to manage time at home and what particular activity is done and at a particular time e.g time for breakfast, time for lunch, supper, prayer etc.
  • Recognizing and handling situations well for example when a child is locked him/her self in a bedroom, cutting himself/herself with knife.

The Role of Parents in Child’s Physical (Stature) Growth and Development.

Jesus grew in stature (Physically):   Physical health matters to God. Our faith is not just a matter of the mind. We teach our kids that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Parents and Caregivers we want all our Children to develop healthy habits that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. How?

  • Leading by example. In most cases children reflect the behavior of their parents. Jesus said a child does what he learns from the father.
  • Healthy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Being a team player
  • Having the right to diet

The Role of Parents in Child’s Spiritual & emotional (Favour with God) Growth and Development.

Jesus grew in Favour with God (Spiritually):  Jesus sat in the temple and listened, just like we should listen at church. Parents should teach their Children how:

  • Sharing God’s word to others.
  • To pray and read our Bibles and do our “Quiet Time”
  • To love Jesus most of all and do our best to be like Him
  • To get saved, get baptized, and tell others how they can be saved.
  • Emotional control
  • God-fearing
  • Moral ( being disciplined)
  • Parents should lead by example.
  • In conclusion the role of childcare programs in enhancing child development requires that Parents and care givers are trained and equipped to do the right job for the development of a child. At the family level, parents are encouraged to fulfill their child’s needs for close and private interactions and to create supportive connections between life at home and in the child care setting.Child development will depend on how effective the responsible persons play their respective roles to support realization of services in child care programmes. Thus giving a strong foundation upon which the child grow and develop spiritually, socially and physically.

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