Psychologists say emotional development as important as literacy and numeracy

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Psychologists at the APS congratulate the government on recognising the urgent need to provide quality, learning environments run by qualified staff for preschool children.

Professor Lyn Littlefield, Executive Director of The Australian Psychological Society (APS) would like to see children’s emotional, social and psychological development prioritised alongside the early exposure to literacy and numeracy that is currently being emphasised.

“Learning at this age is as much about relationships, communication, and self-confidence as it is about learning to read and write. Preschoolers are learning to understand and manage their feelings, and to recognise and be sensitive to feelings in others, and these are essential skills for developing and maintaining positive relationships”.

Research shows that the healthy emotional, social and psychological development of children promotes healthy adjustment and significantly reduces the potential of them developing emotional and behavioural problems later in life.

Professor Littlefield says, ‘Australia can take a leading role in recognising the importance of children’s emotional, social and psychological development, by providing for quality, preschool environments that prioritise and foster these skills’.


For more information contact:

Elaine Grant
Communications Manager
Australian Psychological Society
03 8662 3363
0412 683 068