Children are born as clean slates, oblivious of their surroundings, but as they grow, they become aware of their environment and everything in it.
Learning in children starts at birth and it is a critical time for brain development.
What is Early Childhood Education?
Early Childhood Education (ECE) is an informal and formal learning process, including constructive plays, that children from 0 to 8 years old engage in, before entering formal school settings.
During this period, children can play, explore and acquire fundamental skills in a fun and engaging environment, thereby laying the groundwork for their future learning and development.
Importance of Early Childhood Education (ECE)
Early Childhood Education is very important in child development. It affects their social skills and cognitive abilities. Below are some of the importance of Early Childhood Education.
Brain Development: Babies are born ready to learn and with repetitive, consistent, and familiar routines and practices, their brains develop.
Early education influences this development in the first five years of a child’s life. The brain creates millions of connections and these connections develop faster than at any other time in their life.
A stimulating and caring environment, with a variety of activities, gives children the opportunity to develop and practice what they are learning.
Social and Emotional Skills: Early education exposes children to situations that encourage them to develop healthy social and emotional skills.
In an environment that is both nurturing and intellectually engaging, interactions with others teach them how to handle social and emotional challenges that they may face as they grow.
Language and Communication: Early education helps children have meaningful interactions with those around them.
It helps them express themselves and communicate their needs better, thereby reducing frustration, tantrum or outbursts. Early education helps children form friendships and make more sense of their environment.
Foundation for Learning: The early years of a child is very crucial because what is learnt and experienced at this stage becomes a foundation of how they understand and perceive life.
Early education opens and prepares their mind for future learning and learning abilities.
Behaviour and Self-Control: Self-control at an early age has positive effects on a child’s pre-school and middle-school academics, social and emotional abilities, as well as on the development of conscience.
Self-control also alleviates behavioural, emotional and academic problems. Early education teaches children the importance of self-control.
Below are some benefits of childhood education.
- Rapid brain growth during early years.
- Formation of neural connections and pathways.
- Language acquisition and vocabulary development.
- Learning to interact with peers and adults.
- Strong self-control and self-esteem.
- Patience and confidence.
Children are future leaders, but as parents, we are their guide for today. Parents have the obligation of teaching and guiding their children on all it entails to become good leaders of tomorrow.
Early childhood education is the basis and foundation on which the nurturing of any child can be built. As such, parents should actively participate in the early education of their children, and choose trustworthy learning facilities that emphasize holistic development and has a supportive environment.
Parents should foster a passion for learning by engaging in activities and reading aloud to their children.
Also, parents should convey the value of early education to other parents and neighbourhood residents, and push for every child to have access to high-quality early education.