Early childhood education is also known as nursery education. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (ECE) is simply a component of education theory that specializes in teaching young children. Early childhood education may include children with any age between the bracket of (0-8) years. Education is of definitely important for everyone when it comes to achieving career-oriented goals in future and for that, the basic foundation stone in the success of a person is how well Early Childhood Education was given to that person.
What is Early Childhood Education?
Early childhood education is also known as nursery education. Early childhood education ECE is simply a component of education theory that specializes in teaching young children. This may include children between the age brackets of (0-8) years. It is both formal and informal education where learning environment must be made lively as well as prepared with a lot of experience and intelligence. Early childhood teachers must show interest and readiness towards this mission in order to get it right.
Early childhood education in the USA
In the United States of America, it is believed that for early childhood education to run smoothly and successfully, the school must show readiness especially in preparing the learners to achieve their mission in education. The USA lagged a bit behind in early childhood education and her preschool access was only 69% on 4 years old American children until in the year 2008.
The age children start preschool in the USA
Even though early childhood is as important just as any other level of education in life, in the USA, parents start enrolling children when they are the age of 4 years old. This is unlike other countries where enrollment begins much earlier.
Comparison between USA Early childhood education ECD enrollment ages with other countries
As mentioned earlier, in the USA children are enrolled when they are at the age of 4 years old. This is unlike Belgium where children are enrolled at the age of 2 years, in Denmark, children are enrolled from age 1 and finally, in most countries such as Japan, Mexico, Poland, and Estonia among others, children are enrolled at the age of 3.
Early Childhood education in Asia
In Asia, children are highly valued and it is mandatory for children to get the best start in life. According to the government, “children’s survival, protection, growth and development in good health as well as proper nutrition are essential in a child’s foundation of human development”. In Asia, it is believed that learning begins at birth that is why early years in a child’s life is given much attention.
In Asia, it is also believed that early childhood education will help in reducing gender as well as other social discrimination.
Importance of early childhood education in Asia
- Early childhood prepares learners for primary education. In simple words, it helps girls and boys to perform better in primary school as it equips them with excellent cognitive skills.
- Research shows that the brain develops rapids during the first three years of life, that is why the brains of two children are tested. One who undergone early childhood education and the other who did not. It is obvious that the one who did not pass through early childhood education had smaller than a normal brain.
- Early childhood education promotes equality as well as opportunities in a child.
- Early childhood education motivates children and encourages them to work harder in primary school without thinking of dropping out of school.
- Early childhood education free parents and older siblings of a child’s responsibilities hence getting time to concentrate on other things.
Early childhood education in India
In India, early childhood education is simply defined as the time from birth to 8 years of age. This is simply put as (0-8) years. The RTE Act (2009) mentions this about early childhood education, “the only way to concoct children from the age of 3 years which is set aside for basic education as well as offering early childhood care education all children without discrimination until the period of three years. The seating government by then should organize and offer free early childhood education for the needy children”.
Even after the Government insisted on early childhood education, there is still unclear information regarding the number of pre-scholars as well as the number of children enrolled in pre-schools. According to a research in India, early childhood education influences academic performance of children at both primary education and secondary education. Keep in mind that this is where children are taught how to pronounce and how to read and write, without proper foundation regarding this, a child remains affected for the rest of his life because correcting this may mean that the child has to start reciting sounds and what have you. that is why early childhood education is highly acknowledged in India that is why the government is making efforts to avail quality pre-school learning to children particularly those from disadvantaged areas.
Early childhood in Europe
Europe enjoys a rich history of early childhood education and as a result, there are a lot of beliefs, theories as well as contributions regarding this scope of education. One good thing about these theories and attributions in early childhood education in Europe is the fact most of them were fro be the betterment of this kind of education. Today, Europe is one of the continents in the world that enjoys a rich history of quality and beneficial early childhood education.
In Europe, it is believed that early childhood is highly interactive as it partners schools activities with home activities. This kind of education promotes equality in learners as it helps them in approaching who they are and their talents. In Europe, parents are encouraged to take their children to pre-school because this forms the best educational foundation in their education life.
Benefits of Early Childhood Education
Even though most parents are not aware of it, it is worth mentioning that early childhood education begins in the cradle. Some parents may be overwhelmed with their babies’ first smile, first words among other things but they might not be aware that there are quite a number of discoveries taking place in their children. This is the time children will be discovering a lot of information regarding their parents and they would easily tell when they are not carried with their own parent but other people.
It is worth mentioning that during the first months of a child’s life, their brain seems to take in more information than what we could imagine. For instance, learning is influenced by a child’s environment and when they spend a lot of time with their mothers at the kitchen, at six months, they would make efforts of cooking just like their mothers do. Moreover, this is the time that they will discover about danger especially when they touch things and they look their parents’ reactions, attitudes as well as actions.
Other importance of early childhood education
Early childhood education helps children to develop individuality as this is the time teachers will realize that every child is unique. Keep in mind that there are a range of learning styles that a child gradually grasps in a day-to-day encounter and this will be determined by a child’s pace. In simple reality, ECD equips little angels with independence.
In early childhood education, children are highly encouraged to think vitally particularly towards what they are learning. That is why children are given a lot of toys to motivate them. In early childhood education, children are also encouraged to learn from one another. During this time, relevant learning materials are necessary to enable the children achieves self-regulation.
Early childhood education appreciates children especially when they get something right. It also motivates children even if they did not get it right as the children will be cheered and celebrated. “Well done, well done, try again another day, a very good boy! A very good girl! Then an adult tells the right answer if the child did not get it right. This will enable a child to understand his self-worth and enable them to develop a strong stand towards education.
- Conflict resolution
Early childhood education teaches children to say “sorry” if you wronged others. Say “thank you” whenever they are given something and finally say, “Excuse me” when it is necessary. This is one of the most important abilities that lack in most adults and when children grow knowing the above-mentioned aspects; they will be great people when they mature.