Young children are like like little sponges. That is why early education is so important. Every experience, every new word and behaviour they adopt now is an investment in their future.
Early childhood education is about moulding the holistic journey which will then form the foundations for their lives journey.
From my professional experience of working in childcare for the last 10 years and after 2 years as a parent myself I have identified 6 benefits of early education:
Socialisation with people other than their family in a safe environment is an essential part of a child’s foundations. As parents, we understand the importance of introducing our children to others in their same age bracket and support their developing of new friendships. The earlier that this is done the better. It helps children to over come shyness and develop self-esteem.
Exposure to Diversity
Valuing diversity and differences are key to a child’s development. Early childhood experiences help children to appreciate and except differences and grow to be well rounded part of society.
It’s very important that children are taught that everyone is unique and special in their own way. This is regardless to their culture, beliefs and ethnicity.
Teaching the value of respect doesn’t just come down to people and belongings but the envirnoment too. There is no better place to learn this value than in a busy nursery or pre-school setting. Everything is shared and manners are taught and learned naturally.
Self Esteem and Confidence
Positive interactions with other children and grown ups will promote a positive, healthy and secure view of themselves. This will then allow them to approach situations and problems throughout their lives confidently. When children feel confident they are more likely to explore their talents, skills and interests.
Many activities that take place in early year settings are based around teamwork. A child who has learned to work as part of a team early on will be more socially attuned. They have respect for the feelings and opinions of others, are willing to listen and co-operate.
By being a part of a secure, fair and consistent environment with clear expectations and and consequences children are able to develop skills to manage themselves and their emotions.
It’s the job of the practitioner to create a challenging environment where children can learn through their first hand experiences. They may loose a few games, get a couple of bruises but this is part of their foundation for building coping mechanisms for greater challenges in life.
Nursery and Pre-school settings are about so much more than just playing. While the basic education that the children receive is tangible the children’s achievements towards becoming well-rounded individual are invaluable.