Early Learning Centers
2 April, 2024

Early Learning Centers: Is Every Child Benefiting?

Early Learning Centers: Some parents have occasionally asked whether or not all children benefit from attending an Early Learning Centre (ELC).

This is an area that we at Byford Childcare are very well-positioned to discuss. We’ll share our experiences with you below.

Defining an Early Learning Centers

As we are always keen to emphasise, there is a major conceptual difference between establishments offering “childcare services” or “play areas” and a true Early Learning Centers.
The former may see their role as providing a safe and friendly environment for children to learn basic life skills and to have fun. There is nothing at all wrong with that.

However, in addition to those things, an Early Learning Centre will also spend time presenting a structured environment for children’s learning. Children will be encouraged to learn and develop through established methodologies. Of course, they’ll also have plenty of time for their own play activities.

There is now plentiful evidence to suggest that the benefits of an Early Learning Centre are visible in later schooling.

Are all children suitable and liable to benefit?

In our experience, yes – but there are some things to keep in mind.

Firstly, it’s essentially that an ELC is flexible and cognizant of the fact that no two children are 100% alike. The reality is that some may adapt to and progress faster in some areas than others. The Early Learning Centers needs to therefore not adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach and must position itself to address each child’s needs individually as they’re recognised.

Secondly, children should never feel they’re under pressure to learn. The structures need to be fun and presented appropriately. The objective is to help the children want to participate and never to drift into making the activities into what they’ll call in later schooling, “lessons”!

Finally, it’s highly desirable to avoid any concept of competition creeping in. Children should never feel, in an ELC context, that they’re “winning” or “behind”. The latter can mean children build up walls and start to disengage.
An expert ELC will be able to provide all those things.


While we believe all children can benefit, different approaches may, rarely, be required in some cases.
For example, a child with special hearing assistance needs or one diagnosed with dyspraxia might only benefit from an ELC approach if it is provided in a context that recognises their additional needs.
If a child has such requirements, they must be drawn to the attention of the ELC from day 1 to enable the additional support structures to be put into place.

Parental contributions

The approaches adopted by an ELC are most effective when backed up by parental efforts in the home.
If you’d like to know more about useful approaches that can be adopted to help your child learn and grow in conjunction with an Early Learning Centre program, why not make an appointment to visit us for a look around and further discussion? Our friendly and experienced team would welcome the chance to answer your questions.

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