Emotional Development ‘Most Important’ For Young Children

As children get ready to start school there will be a lot that they need to adapt to. Beginning this stage of their lives is great, but for parents it can be stressful, worrying about whether they’re ready and have got the right skills.

Maureen Hemingway, Sheffield Council’s senior adviser for the early years, recently told the Sheffield Star that parents should concentrate on their children’s emotional development, rather than worrying about how well they can read or write before the start primary school.

Having good emotional development “means children are ready to learn”, she stressed.

“They can sit and listen attentively, they’re able to understand what you’re telling them and they can make friends,” Ms Hemingway added.

If you’re looking for au pair vacancies, it may be worth considering how you can help the young children you’ll be looking after develop emotionally to give them the best possible start when they get to school.

Ms Hemingway commented: “Children learn by modelling their behaviour on everything around them and the people available to talk to them and teach them.”

This means an au pair has an important role to play when they’re dealing with children, particularly those in their early years.

One thing that au pairs may want to try and challenge is children spending too much time on video games. Earlier this year, sports store Decathlon released research which found that British children now spend double the amount of time playing video games than they do playing outdoors.  

The survey found the children aged six to 16 spend an average of just seven hours outdoors each week.