Regardless of income and education level, parents who offer learning activities at home can have a major influence on the development of math and language skills in their young children.
This was seen in the first Singapore Kindergarten study which followed 1,537 children from 80 preschools from Kindergarten 1 to Primary 1. The study underscored the importance of preschool education – as well as the role that parents can play.
He found that in kindergarten, children from less well-off households progress at the same rate as their peers from more well-off households.
But there is a skills gap between children of different income groups when they enter K1, and it persists when they are in primary 1.
Called the Singapore Kindergarten Impact Project (Skip), the study followed children from 2015, when they entered kindergarten, until July 2017, seven months after entering primary 1.
Ng Ee Lynn, a researcher at the National Institute of Education, who led the study, said she affirmed the ongoing efforts to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of preschool education.
“We are on the right track. Good quality preschool education is important. The Skip study showed that the two years of kindergarten improved language, math and other skills such as the ability to concentrate. , which are important for learning. “
The preschool education system has undergone significant changes in recent years, including an improved curriculum and better training for educators.
She added: “The other important finding is that what parents do with their children at home matters. children’s reading and numeracy skills. “
The study also found that reading books in the native language at home contributes to children’s vocabulary level at K1.
In terms of executive functioning skills that are crucial for learning, such as the ability to pay attention and juggle multiple tasks, the team found that while children from low-income families can enter K1 with Weaker executive functioning skills – as well as a level of literacy and numeracy skills – they continued to improve these skills at the same rate as their peers from kindergarten to primary 1.
Dr Ng said: “Given the importance of the family environment in children’s development, existing government programs such as KidStart to strengthen parenting education and support for children from disadvantaged homes will be important to standardize The game’s rules.”
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