The most effective way to support the development of a young child’s language skills and speech is by having conversations- the more frequent and natural the talks are, the better they turn out to be for verbal development. In the environment of a childcare, a child gets more opportunity to talk, either with his/her peers or with the caregivers.
A brief discussion with the head of a Brooklyn-based childcare facility about the same subject gave us some interesting facts and techniques as to how the experience at a childcare centre can accelerate the development of speech and language skills in the attendees. Given below are a few important points that the head shared with us:
-Reading and sharing books with other children at the childcare can help imbue the habit of reading from a young age. This will promote a better and more diverse vocabulary, creative thinking and enhanced grammar.
-For children who are too young to read, caregivers at the childcare centre can use commonly used words like names of fruits, vegetables and other everyday words for the children to hear and absorb- it might take the little learners a while before they can say those words out loud themselves, but they will definitely learn them at some point if they keep hearing them often.
-Caregivers can also narrate what is happening in the world around the kids- this could be narrating the procedure of changing the diaper, transitions, games, changing clothes, having their lunch, etc.
-For children whose speech is in the developmental stage where they mostly express their feelings by crying, shaking their heads, nodding, or pointing towards things, the caregivers at the childcare centre should respond appropriately, but in speech. These one sided conversations serve as the building blocks of language and speech learning in the future.
Development of speech and language has a vital role to play in the social development of young children as well as on their behavior and their knowledge of early literacy skills. It also impacts the development of self-esteem in the children who are attending childcare.