What will your toddler learn in daycare? Your two-year-old is ready to make a leap into their first educational experience. But before they start school, you want to know more about what they'll learn. If you're not sure where to begin, take a look at the top questions parents should ask the child care center teacher about toddler learning, the curriculum, developmental expectations, and educational activities.
What Should Parents Know About the School's Curriculum?
Some programs create their own curriculum, while others use a ready-made option. Whether the center uses its own plan or follows one that's standardized, the toddler curriculum should include evidence-based practices, age/developmentally appropriate activities, expected learning outcomes or goals, and content that crosses every developmental domain (cognitive, social, emotional, and physical).
What Should Parents Know About Daily Activities?
Information about the center's curriculum will give you a broad overview of what you can expect from the toddler year in daycare. But you may want to know more about the specific activities that your child will try every day while in care. Toddler activities could include early literacy, early math, science, social studies, physical/movement, performing arts, or visual arts explorations.
The specific activities your child will do in care depend on the overall curriculum, the program, and the educator. Even though content areas such as math and science may seem too complex for a two-year-old to master, early childhood educators have the knowledge and experience to create or use lessons/activities that are age and developmentally appropriate for toddlers.
Some schools provide parents with a monthly or weekly calendar of activities, others post daily schedules, and others may offer a less formal option—such as verbal updates from the teacher during drop-off or pick-up times.
What Should Parents Know About Kindergarten Readiness?
Your toddler won't start kindergarten for a few years. But this doesn't mean they can't start learning the basics that they'll need in elementary school right now. Talk to the program's director or the toddler room teacher about school readiness, the curriculum, and learning activities.
The teacher can review what your child may need to know before they start elementary school. This could include both academic and developmental skills, such as emotional regulation, taking turns, sharing with friends, making new friends, or communicating with their classmates. After you learn more about what your child will need to work on before they start the kindergarten year, you can discuss how the toddler classroom activities impact school readiness.
For more information on toddler learning, contact a professional near you.