Benefits of Mixed-Age Group Settings
Here at Dreamschools, we are big believers in the power of home childcare and the quality of care that providers are able to offer through their uniquely individualized programs. One of the biggest benefits of choosing home childcare is the mixed-age group setting. Let’s start with the basics: the definition of ‘mixed-age grouping’ is pretty much what it sounds like – children placed in a group consisting of different ages. In contrast to this approach, many other childcare centres and programs tend to group children into separate classrooms according to age and stage of development, most commonly known as Infant, Toddler, and Preschoolers. Here, we will highlight some of the major benefits to mixed-age grouping for your consideration.
Feels like home
Attending a program with mixed-age grouping allows for a feeling of home. In a mixed-group environment, you might be surprised to see children who are not related functioning and interacting like a family. This is because the very concept of mixed-aged grouping exactly mirrors the model of a real-life family. Overall, this feeling of family will only add to the sense of security that your child feels while attending the program.
Range of abilities
A classroom full of children at different ages and developmental stages will convey a greater range of skills, abilities, and personalities. What does this mean for your child? This means that your child is more likely to find someone else in the room that they can engage or have something in common with. It also means that early on your child will be exposed to other children who excel in a range of skills.
Opportunity to lead
One of the most incredible, and not at all uncommon, sights to witness in a mixed-age group setting is an older child assisting one of their younger peers. There is more opportunity to support and encourage older children in the group to develop leadership and helping skills within the learning environment. In turn, this allows younger children to grasp new skills and interests with ease since they are able to observe and receive help from older children in the group. Educators enjoy their role in the classroom as facilitators of these delicate interactions and encourage growth through them.
A mixed-age group setting certainly offers several benefits that you should consider when deciding if home childcare is the best decision for your child. In the end, choose a childcare method that is best suited for you and your child.