Mindfulness on the menu for Little Scholars in a bid to address mental health issues
Gold Coast early education provider Little Scholars has launched a mindfulness program to its curriculum, hoping to instill the importance of mindfulness in young children, as statistics show rising rates of anxiety, depression and stress in children after a tumultuous year of environmental and social challenges.
The program will see each of the nine Little Scholars centres equipped with a toolkit for children’s mental wellbeing made up of exercises and games developed by a Gold Coast children’s counsellor to facilitate mindful moments.
Little Scholars Managing Director and Founder Jae Fraser said the rollout of the program is crucial in ensuring that children are part of an environment that optimises learning and development.
“The first five years of a child’s life are fundamental to their future; this is a period of rapid brain development where the habits and behaviour that will carry them into adulthood are formed. Mindfulness is an extremely useful tool for instilling healthy stress management and emotional self regulation in children – a skill which we know leads to a happier and brighter life,” Mr Fraser said.
As well as having been scientifically proven to provide a range of both physical and mental benefits, mindfulness is simple to apply and, when practiced consistently, helps children cope with overwhelming situations.
The program was developed by child psychotherapist and founder of Mindful & Co Kids, Jacqueline Yeats.
“I’m delighted to be working with Little Scholars in implementing the Mindful & Co Kids Toolkit across their centres. There is a wealth of research supporting mindfulness as a successful intervention for disorders like depression and anxiety, which is why I first began incorporating it into my practice with children,” Ms Yeats said.
In her private practice, Ms Yeats has received feedback from families after only one or two sessions, noticing “great improvements” in their child’s sleep, mood, reduced tantrums, ability to play alone and increased positive interactions with siblings and family members.
The toolkit will be integrated into the daily learning program at Little Scholars across all age groups, with exercises such as the ABC’s of Mindfulness, Yoga Flashcards and Memory Cards, complimenting the holistic learning model already in place.
Further information about the specialised programs offered by Little Scholars may be accessed here.