(BPT) - Reading, writing, science and math are subjects that have been associated with classroom instruction since school was established. And all are relevant, important subjects to master in order to succeed in society. But according to a new survey of 2,000 parent respondents conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care, these subjects are not the only skills parents are looking to have their children learn in early childhood education.
An astounding 81% of parent respondents believe educators should spend time teaching things outside academics like soft skills and current events, with 60% wanting current events instruction to focus on cultural happenings like festivals and heritage celebrations.
This survey makes it clear that parents of today are focused on developing their children into well-rounded members of society beyond just traditional school subjects.
Sixty-two percent of parents in the survey responded that they prioritize their children learning soft skills like communication, critical thinking and problem solving before they’re 8 years old, with 40% of parents saying that practical life skills are the most important thing for their children to learn at a young age. The majority of parent respondents said that core curriculum classes should not begin until the first grade.
“Parents who place their children in a preschool environment that focuses on character development give children a strong start,” said Joy Turner, vice president of education for the Kiddie Academy brand. “Learning the ability to care about others, to communicate, and to understand how character affects the communities and world in which we live is important to early childhood education development.”
The majority of parents who took the survey think that social and emotional development are absolutely necessary to learn at their child’s school, with honesty ranked as the most important character trait to learn in early childhood. Therefore, parents are leaning on child care providers to bridge the gap between what parents are teaching at home and what children are learning in the classroom.
So how can parents find child care that aligns with these priorities? By asking thorough questions when touring a facility, researching social media and websites affiliated with their early childhood education options and paying close attention to the interactions they have with a provider during a tour or interview.
“Parents have many choices to make when it comes to sending their children to an early learning program,” said Turner. “Making sure you’re on the same page with the facility where your children spend so much time is key to developing them into the people we hope they become.”