Importance of Early Childhood Education
Early childhood is the precious stage in the life of human development, which principally includes the infant age, toddler-hood, and some more time even after say for till their 10th year. Early Childhood Development (ECD) is actually mean to the complete approach on the defined policies and structured programmes for children and the care being given to them by their parents and guardians. Exclusively right from the birth to ten years is what age is early childhood.
Importance of early childhood education
In terms of child’s physical, rational, mental, emotional and social development, childhood plays an important part. Early childhood is one such decisive stage in life wherein from the birth age to the child’s 10 years, the growth of physical and mental abilities might headway at an astounding range. In accordance with, you might notice that high level of learning capabilities would be reflected by the children if early childhood is taken care rightly.
Right, the moment enters the home from the hospital, his/her education – actually the term of learning starts from his/her parents and guardians &/or caretakers. Once after they pass the infant stage, a child must need a positive early learning exposure to groom up the hidden categories of physical, mental, intellectual, and emotional characters of growth evolution. Since then, the learning capabilities of human beings start to continue throughout out the lives. Thus, the importance of early childhood education is spotted highly with a pre-school base foundation for later school achievement. Many things are important to think about. Creating a nice and learning-friendly atmosphere in the Kidsroom is also as important as choosing a good kids desk or the perfect lights in the room.
Neurological research says that early years of the child takes place a major role in the brain’s development. Babies have strong grasping power hence; they learn things around very easily. As per science, babies of prenatal (before birth) start learning and responding ability when the mom talks and cares the baby. Babies first start learning their known persons say for mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandpa and grandma whomsoever at home, then action words and then to all the beings living in the society. Enhancing the early days of children’s life is actually the best investment that their parents doing for them and in addition, a well prepare for their future in this society with successful endeavours. That is why early childhood education is important.
Define early childhood education
Early childhood education is the branch of education theory of teaching young children right from the age of play school to primary level (inclusive of both formal and informal ways). Apart from ECE (Early Childhood Education), training & educating the kids of toddler age is a very exclusive subset. It is simply the attention and instruction given to the little ones inside the home environment – which is principally the initial level extension of schooling. However when comparing US hierarchy of education, the Indian additions of pedagogical structure varies a quite in terms of primary and secondary predecessors.
In principle, the approaches to early childhood education vary from one theorist to the other.
Parents: However the early education generally starts from parents at home. Of first three years of the baby, parents are the only key influence in teaching and training session. What the parents do, educate and expose to their children will reflect from them in same. In fact, such exposure will impact vastly on the children growth development.
Pre-school: Pre-schooling is the key foundation for children to move further towards primary and secondary schools. Can say that it is a comprehensive approach for graduation!
Textbooks: Textbooks are aids that are being used by the caregivers of the children.
Moreover, approaches can be defined as the other way rounds to provide early childhood education. In such case, you may find many programs and of your choice to pick one that suits your child. Approaches to early childhood education can also be termed as planned philosophies for preschool programs. They are off:
- Montessori : A comprehensive program designed by an educator & a physician Maria Montessori for a developmental approach towards learning methods. The Montessori approach enhances the study in nature way, through creativity and hands-on learning techniques with gentle teaching methodologies. The aim of Montessori is to develop children’s hidden talents, grooming up the characters, bring out the practical life skills and high-level academic ability. It is a set method where all the instructors must be of Montessori certified.
- Waldorf : The Waldorf approach strives to touch all the children in terms of their spirit, soul & body and trains them to focus on their own interests. With creative implementation and group learning, Waldorf is an approach by an Austrian writer Rudolf Steiner that generates stamping zeal-kind to kindle children’s native skills and abilities. It is also set method where every teacher herein must be Waldorf certified.
- Reggio Emilia : Formed in 1940’s of Italy, though it is not of a set method, it is an educational system and theory where most of the US school programs are of Reggio Emilia incorporated. The system enhances learning by giving importance to exploration, self-expression and community. Children here in this approach is engaged in learning through arts & crafts, practical and projects mirroring their ideas, concepts and interests.
- High Scope : This approach deals with the past and current development of children through research. It gives attention to the academic viewpoint with well-organised classrooms in terms of the subjects: science and mathematics with reading and practical exercises. Cohesively can say that High Scope is a well-designed approach that implements call-for-action learning to the children by hands-on experiences with supportive surroundings.
- Bank Street : Designed by an educational philosopher John Dewy, Bank Street sets teaching methods through practical activities, including but not just limited to blocks building, puzzle solving, clay making, acting plays & dramas et al. This approach grooms the children as active learners and knowledge gained by experiencing the reality in world deeds and as per on developing their innate physical, mental, emotional, and social growth.
- Parent Co-ops : Parent Co-ops is one such amazing approach where it allows parents to be the share in the management’s business operation. Hence, they can see their children’s growth perspective very near on daily basis with an opportunity of working with the classroom teachers very closely. It actually talks about the family involvement! Children have parents but on the one side, some have either guardians or caretakers. Thus either directly or indirectly family come into the picture. Family involvement in early childhood education benefits not only the children but also the parents, family, teachers and the approach and/or the program quality in all the inter-related ways. It enhances parent effective endeavors, child proficiency, and program successfulness. And herein the importance of early childhood education actually reveals out perfectly with parents coordination and cooperation.
Special Education is an aided teaching technique that cares and educates the children who need special attention to address their individual differences. You can find several special schools that cater students with specially designed educational needs to challenge their difficulties in terms of learning difficulty because of their individual difficulty to see, hear, speak, write & walk and in sometimes those of who suffer from autistic difficulties. Can define well as a child who has learning difficulties & disabilities that make him/her hard enough to learn when to compare to other children of the same age! Such special schools staff scholars to meet such students’ physical difficulties and behavioural problems.
Special education teachers are regulated by the public school system (Government) to ensure all the children of that disabilities must avail special education to meet their unique requirements and to get ready for further studies. Special education services are actually meant for children right from the early ages, say for age 3 (pre-school level).
Special education teachers are staffed with qualified professionals are those who met graduation level of both under and higher degrees. Sometimes undergraduate level teachers are considered for those who completed any special certification or diploma or any other required education level. For the teachers who work for early childhood special education –salary ranges of $55,990 (as per US Bureau of Labor Statistics) and 35.8 Lakhs per annum in Indian Rupees. For those who work for elementary special education level, the salary ranges of $56,690 (as per US Bureau of Labor Statistics) and 36 lakhs per annum in Indian Rupees.
What is quality in early childhood education?
When parents are considering preschools for their children, they must see whether the pre-school compiles all the facilities with good infrastructure. Not only a well-organized classroom is essential but also, good air orientation, education along with cultural, arts & crafts, projects, and field knowledge at all are important as that talk about the importance of early childhood education.
If your child comes under the age group of 3 – 6, i.e. what age is early childhood education! As per the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) appending below are few tips for the parents to check in for the quality in early childhood education that your child is in.
- Your kid spends most of the day in the classroom as learning, playing and dealing with different learning kits & materials.
- They must not sit simply with fewer hours of listening,
- They must do different types of activities and they must be allowed to deal with several types of learning properties
- Teachers should engage with children individually, also can divide them into groups to engage in group activity and group study at all
- The classroom must be decorated with many learning pictures, artworks done by children, charts of everyday activities, good habits, life science picture at all
- Charts of plants, trees, animals, birds, and society surroundings say for hospital & related people, post office & related people, police station & related people, market & its related activities et al, wherein children can learn the society
- Not only allowing the children to engage in activities but also they should allow to do worksheets, like practicing alphabets, learn to draw basic objects at all
- Story time should be there
- Teachers and the parents must meet at least once in a month, where the parents can come to know about their children’s level of learning and understanding capability, as such they also can train their children at home
- Notice your kid, whether he/she goes to school with no tears but with happy bye
- In addition, notice them that whether they catch sickness often, if so talk to the school management in regard to the sanitary facilities
Theories in early childhood education
Early childhood education is actually structured by theories that are of programmed by theorists. Did you ever think that from where such big ideas rose up? Those theorists well found early childhood education, and those approaches are still being followed in many countries. Appending below are few of the theories:
- The theory of First Kindergarten by Friedrich Froebel
- Theory on Father of Pragmatism by John Dewey
- Theory on Sensory Approach to Learning by Maria Montessori (which we actually discussed in the initial paragraphs)
- Theory on Playing to Learn by Lev Vygotsky
- Theory on Champion of Children’s Ideas by Jean Piaget
Concepts of conducive learning from the theories are of appending below:
Periods based classes for development, human tendencies, stages of learning process, well infrastructure environment, observation by the teachers, working cabinets, teaching methodologies that are of separate among early childhood education & early childhood special education, moderate size divisions of classes for more individual attention, well defined basic lessons, areas of studies relevant to early childhood, assessment techniques, age classification of three (3) to six (6) years & six (6) to eighteen (18), styles of learning and character education are of importance of early childhood education.
In addition, there is one another theory that talks about maturation focusing on physical and mental development. As per children heredity, developmental patterns are seen by a theorist Gesell.
In fact, the importance of early childhood education lies in this part with a tight focus on developmental education which must be cared before the compulsory education begins.