By the time children are ready to attend preschool, they have already had a variety of experiences and have developed in a number of ways. In order to use and build upon the learning that has already taken place in the home and its immediate environment early years education should provide children with a rich variety of play activities and other experiences in a stimulating and challenging environment.

Young children require

  • a safe, secure, healthy and stimulating environment where there is adequate supervision
  • opportunities to investigate; satisfy their curiosity; explore the environment inside and outside the playroom; extend their sense of wonder; experience success and develop a positive attitude towards learning
  • appropriate periods of time for learning through sustained involvement in play
  • interaction with sensitive and understanding adults.  It is important that children feel secure in their relationships with adults and that they know that the adults are there to support them
  • adults who will treat them as individuals and sensitively participate in their play
  • opportunity to learn without experiencing a sense of failure


Given these needs it follows that young children require a curriculum which:

  • meets their physical, social, emotional and cognitive needs at their particular stage of development
  • motivates, challenges and stimulates them
  • is broad and balanced

The curriculum should allow children to make choices and provide them with opportunities, through play and other experiences, to develop the learning associated with:

  • personal, social and emotional development
  • physical development
  • creative/aesthetic development
  • language development
  • early mathematical experiences
  • early experiences in science and technology
  • knowledge and appreciation of the environment
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