Debating whether your child will benefit from preschool? A new report confirms that early education is crucial to child development and influences children well into adulthood. Those who received early education are healthier adults in their 30s and 40s, with lower blood pressure and lower levels of obesity, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. Programs with a nature component – like the ENC’s Nature Preschool – further influence a healthier lifestyle. The ENC’s Nature Preschoolers will enthusiastically eat fruit and veggies they grew themselves in our organic garden!
The ENC’s Nature Preschool – Orange County’s first nature-based preschool – will take preschool education to a new level. The ENC recognizes that young children today are not spending enough time outside, with an alarming 89% of preschoolers spending their days at typical daycare programs doing sedentary activities. At the Nature Preschool, qualified early childhood and environmental educators will teach the basics of a typical preschool education while integrating nature into the daily curriculum. Students will spend the majority of the day outdoors, in a stimulating, hands-on learning environment. Activities will include science experiments, yoga classes, musician visits, art projects, animal and plant-related presentations, and imaginative play within the Nature Play Areas. Recognizing that each child is unique, the program will allow children the freedom and space to choose activities according to their interests and developmental readiness.
This high-quality learning environment will provide the ideal atmosphere for early brain development while inspiring the children to care for others and the natural environment. Research has shown that students who play and learn in outdoor settings perform better on tests, have higher grade point averages, an increased enthusiasm for learning, and have better concentration and self-discipline in a classroom setting. Further, these children have advanced motor fitness – including coordination, balance and agility, and stronger immune systems – as well as increased ability to reason, think creatively, and problem solve. The students will learn to interact with other children, develop a sense of independence and autonomy, and become good listeners and communicators.
Interested in the ENC’s Nature Preschool? Sign up on our “interest list” and we’ll keep you up to date on its progress. – Allison Garrett, ENC Intern