The five (or six!) Rs of early education

Children in a learning environment

4 mins

For centuries, the “three Rs”  (reading, writing, and arithmetic) were the mainstay of education, from the youngest years onwards.

The contemporary version of the three Rs consists of the functional skills of literacy, numeracy and ICT. Using these skills students can gain more knowledge in any subject. If  they can read and write, they can complete a research project. If they understand the basics of arithmetic, they can learn to program complex algorithms or study science.

Recent research* points to the importance of life skills, problem solving and character education in enhancing teaching and student learning. This research suggests these alternatives (or additions) to the traditional three Rs:

  • Reasoning - thinking that uses explicit and/or implicit rules to solve problems
  • Resilience - overcoming challenges, being persistent and learning from mistakes
  • Responsibility - taking ownership of one's own actions and inactions and their consequences.

These key problem solving skills can benefit student achievement and general life success strategies. And the good news is that teachers can teach these skills and students can learn them.

When it comes to childhood development, what are the additional skills needed to give children a healthy start and prepare them for future success, in life as well as academically?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there are “five 5 Rs of early education” for parents and early educators to give children a healthy start in life. These include:

  • Reading with the child every day
  • Rhyming, playing and cuddling with the child every day
  • Developing routines, particularly around meals, sleep, and family fun
  • Rewarding the child with praise for successes to build self-esteem and promote positive behaviour and
  • Relationships that are strong and nurturing to give the child a foundation for healthy development

This is better summed up as three Rs that include:

  • Relationships (including rewards for positive behaviours) 
  • Repetition (incorporating regular reading, rhyming and play) and 
  • Routines**. 

These processes are important because they focus on how children learn in addition to what they learn. Children proficient at these skills will not only be set up for success at school and further education, but they’ll have the essential skills to be successful throughout their lives. 

Regardless of the age of the student (and all of us are learning, every day), we can all take something from the combined problem solving and character development skills to enhance our own lives:

  • Reasoning - solving problems using logic and facts, not emotions
  • Resilience - rolling with the punches and staying strong when things don’t go our way
  • Responsibility - taking ownership and focusing on solutions rather than who to blame 
  • Relationships - with family, friends, co-workers, customers and service providers
  • Repetition and routines - aim for perfection but enjoy the journey.

Partner with Ezidebit 

At Ezidebit, childcare and early education are at the very foundation of our existence. We were founded 25 years ago by a childcare centre owner so we understand the needs of your business. We’re here to help you bring your centre’s early learning goals to life by taking care of your payments so you and your team can do your essential work of nurturing young minds and bodies. 

Ezidibit’s five Rs:

  • Reliable - whether it’s set-and-forget direct debit, or monthly BPAY invoices, we have the right match for every family’s finances.
  • Relationships - we value building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships, and take a genuine interest in growing your business. 
  • Reporting - our EziOnline portal consolidates multiple payment methods and reporting into one, easy-to-use platform.
  • Reassurance - get peace of mind knowing any sensitive information is secure with our bank level security.
  • Responsive - our solutions are designed to scale with you as your business grows.

Are you ready to create a customised payment system with Ezidebit that is responsive and user-friendly, and helps you stay ahead of the pack?

Let’s talk




The other 3 Rs: Reasoning, resilience and responsibility: A 2-year pilot study


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