Our understanding of children’s developmental needs has grown radically in the past few decades. Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes in particular, have grown in leaps and bounds. Different from a typical after-care programme, for example, enrichment classes for preschoolers are now understood to be an essential part of a healthy, growing child’s life.
In this blog post, we’ll unpack what a tailored enrichment programme can offer your little one and how to choose a quality offering.
Enrichment vs aftercare: What’s the difference?
Traditional aftercare may be a safe place to leave your child under supervision for a few hours, but they usually only offer hours of unstructured play or a variety of guided activities without a clear curriculum connection.
Meanwhile, enrichment programmes are shorter and focus on developing skills within one subject area. They’re designed to extend your child’s curriculum in a fun way — letting them playfully explore subjects not included in their typical school day, deepening their knowledge of foundational subjects through guided play.
Key benefits of enrichment classes for children
Aside from getting them to practice their social skills, enrichment classes offer your little one an opportunity to enhance their learning meaningfully, while having fun. They’re fantastic ways to:
- Safely try new and varied activities
- Encounter and apply curriculum subject matter in novel ways
- Develop and explore new interests and talents
- Enjoy healthy challenges that provide intellectual extension opportunities
- Develop physical coordination when engaging in movement-based activities
Short, focused enrichment classes work very well in conjunction within a play-based approach to learning. Learn more about this approach to learning and why it’s fundamental to the White Lodge Way, in this blog post.
How to choose a great enrichment programme
Here are some tips when searching for the best programme for your little one:
- What’s on offer? You’re faced with a plethora of choices — from music and gym, to coding (yes coding!) and more. Before you settle on one programme over another, find out what combination of subject areas your child will be exposed to.
- Would your child enjoy it? Understanding your child’s needs and interests is essential to placing them in a programme they enjoy. Consider what types of activities and/or subject matter they’re enthusiastic about and approach a preschool or childcare centre that offers it.
- Who’s supervising? Ensure that your chosen enrichment programme is run by qualified ECD educators who know their subject matter and have suitable experience.
- How does it fit into your child’s continuing education? Enrichment activities should prepare your child to thrive in the modern world. Whether they attend yoga to boost concentration and physical fitness, or enjoy musical activities designed to extend their language skills — the best programmes give your child what they need to succeed as confident, well-rounded individuals.
Related: It’s near impossible to avoid digital technology in this day and age — and with some planning, it needn’t be damaging for children. Find out why learning to code is beneficial for preschoolers, in this blog post.
The White Lodge approach to enrichment
Our preschools and childcare centres offer everything your child needs to feel nurtured, stimulated and cared-for. Our curriculum is designed to give them the opportunity to develop as intelligent, confident and personable young people — and we believe a thriving enrichment programme is part of that.
At our schools in Malaysia, our enrichment classes such as Mandarin and Bahasa are part of the enrolled full day schedule.
Our schools at Grandeur Park and Toa Payoh in Singapore are the newest places you can find our range of enrichment classes for your little one.