Early childhood refers to the period between birth and eight years of age. During this time, a child’s brain develops rapidly and their experiences have a profound influence on their learning, health, and well-being throughout their lives.
According to UNESCO, early childhood education “can lay the foundation for good health and nutrition, learning and educational success, social-emotional learning, and economic productivity throughout life.”
Early Childhood Education is more than just learning to read, write and do math. It is holistic in nature, which means it focuses on all aspects of child development such as physical, emotional, social and cognitive skills. Early childhood education aims to prepare children for formal education by providing them with a safe environment where they can explore their surroundings, learn new things and build positive relationships with their peers and teachers.
The connections children make with their caregivers, teachers, and peers form the basis for their personal characteristics, such as empathy and emotional intelligence. Hence, it is essential to choose an early childhood education programme that fosters these traits and elicits them in an environment that promotes healthy growth.
Here are 5 reasons early childhood education is one of the most important stepping stones for any child.
Stimulates brain development
Research says that the early years of life are crucial for brain development and should be treated as a window of opportunity for learning. At this time in your child’s life, the brain is growing rapidly and new neural pathways are being formed to support learning.
Hence, children need to be exposed to a stimulating environment. They learn and develop best through play, hands-on experiences, and positive interactions with educators and other children.
Enhances social skills
Early childhood education teaches children several skills that are the building blocks for social and emotional development. These include learning to take turns with their peers, engaging in cooperative play, and solving conflicts.
As they grow into school-aged children, they are increasingly aware of how their actions affect others. As a result, they are more likely to have positive relationships with teachers and peers at school and less likely to engage in activities such as bullying.
For most children, participating in early childhood education is their first step toward independence. Spending time away from the family allows children to gain self-confidence and discover who they are as individuals.
When children are given the opportunity to explore the environment at their own pace, they learn to explore, try new things, make their own choices and develop self-regulation skills. The ability to follow directions, stay focused on a task, and think for themselves are all crucial skills that build on each other in young children.
Children have an innate curiosity about the world around them. It’s important to invest in early education that fosters their curiosity by giving them opportunities to learn about how things work, what they do and why they are the way they are. This sparks children’s interest in their environment while helping them discover their interests and passions.
Children learn best when their curiosity is encouraged. The more curious children are, the more likely they are to delve deeply into their interests and develop a lifelong love for learning.
Having a strong sense of well-being is vital for every child. It gives them the confidence, optimism and self-esteem that enables them to explore their talents, skills and interests.
Children who are raised in an environment of love and mutual respect are more likely to trust others and learn how to manage their emotions. Positive relationships with teachers and peers can foster a sense of self-worth that allows children to approach problems and situations with confidence.
Maple Leaf Kingsley International School – Enriching Your Child’s World
The early childhood years are a time of great discovery and a good head start can lead to a happy and successful adulthood. At MLKIS, we believe that building a nurturing community around the child helps them become more integrated, confident and happy within the school environment.
Our Early Years Department aims to foster a positive sense of self and respect for others in all of our children. By providing a safe and supportive environment, each child is encouraged to pursue their own interests, at their own pace.
Our Early Years Programme allows children to develop their fullest potential by creating an environment where differences are recognised, understood and appreciated.
We are committed to all-round development of children through Activities both indoor and outdoor activities, using various areas and resources to provide a holistic learning experience.
Our 7 main areas of learning and development include Personal, Communication & Language, Physical, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world, and Expressive Art & Design.
The early years are vital because they lay the foundation for later life: the right support during these years can make all the difference to a child’s future achievements.
Click here to know more about our Early Years Programme.