At Queen of Apostles, we recognise the importance of a play-based program in the early years. Play is a critical component of children’s cognitive physical, social and emotional development.
With 85% of a child’s brain development occurring between birth and five years of age, this is a critical period. Play shapes the architecture of the brain and provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, experiment, theorise, predict, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play motivates and enhances a child’s desire to know and learn. Through play, children experience a wide range of emotions and can learn the skills to manage them. Children need play to develop the skills they will use in later years.
THE NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD
The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a National Standard for early childhood education and care providers in Australia. The National Quality Standard, developed in partnership with State, Territory and Commonwealth Governments, is intended to deliver high, nationally consistent standards for young children in the areas of education, care and health. In November 2013, the Minister for Education informed schools that early childhood programmes to Year 2 in Western Australian schools will be required to meet the NQS. The NQS focuses on delivering play-based programs through an early learning framework. The NQS is divided into seven areas that contribute to the quality of early childhood education and care.