People often talk about the fact that Education takes place on a continuum that is lifelong. Education commences a day a person is born and ends the day they pass. It is “from the cradle to the grave“.

In recent weeks much has been said (and utterances continue to be made) about gaps in education during the formative years with those gaps negatively impacting upon the capacities of students as they grow into adult hood.

I sincerely believe that the major gap in education is around the lack of development put in by so many parents for so many children in their formative pre school years. That neglect doesn’t happen in every case but it is certainly far too frequent.

It might be argued that children from a very young age are well and truly catered for, by being enrolled in childcare centres.

For mine, that does not count. This care is not a case of contact between parent and child but between a lot of children in care situations. The prime focus is on minding rather than individual development. For this reason, many children enter school years without being ready in terms of everything that should be in place from a behavioural and self management viewpoint.

The imperative of work means that too many parents have to leave the children when they are far too young to be left, in the care of others. Children are dropped off early in the morning at long daycare centres, where children are being or enrolled is younger and younger ages.

At the end of the day they are collected and taken home. Parents are generally fatigued and don’t have the time or energy to spend very much time with children. They are propped up in front of television sets all given iPads and other games with which to play.

Little happens by way of conversation, reading to children, playing with children and spending time with them.

How’s the weekend parents have chores to do so again children are largely left to their own devices.

During the very formative years, the early years of their lives aspects of growing up I overlooked and not attend to my parents. Childcare centres do their best but often with staff whose training is limited.

This all adds up to the fact that when children are presented at school, from preschool on through transition up into primary years, substantial shortfalls in social, emotional and readiness development are found to be wanting.

Schools do their best to overcome this “gap” but it can be very hard going.

I firmly believe that lack of parental engagement with children through their very early years is creating a major educational gap that has is part of its consequence children, who at the end of it all the less well at school and they might because so much has to be made up that should be beyond the parameters of the school and dealt with on the home front.

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