The Importance of Early Childhood Education
The term “Early Childhood Education” is often a misunderstood concept. This term refers to the education a child receives from the time they are born, to when they enter kindergarten. It is a vital and critical point in a child’s life due to heightened brain activity and fast development. Early childhood education programs understand the importance and value of rich education required before the age of five. Thus, activities at these centers are carefully planned to focus on the whole child. Children work on reaching important milestones but also learn about their emotions, building relationships, social interactions, and begin to discover their interests. This barely begins to cover why early childhood education programs are so important. So why is this a hot topic for discussion, and why is it misunderstood?
Misperceptions of Early Childhood Education Programs
These programs are oftentimes viewed as a place to keep kids entertained or a holding area for working parents. This devalues the work and commitment educators, administrators, and researchers have put in to develop a thoughtful curriculum. Although it might seem like children are simply enjoying their time and playing games, these activities are specifically designed to be engaging because it has been shown that children retain much more information through these activities. Some of the misperceptions stemmed from the fact that in the past, it was a popular belief that young children were not able to learn much before the age of five. However, this has since been disproven. Children are consistently learning and neurons are building new connections through constant observations. It is never too early to begin their educational journey.
Key Components of an Early Childhood Education Program
A good program incorporates proven methods to provide children with lifelong skills. Such skills include language and literacy, thinking skills, emotional regulation, confidence, teamwork, and more. Studies have also found that early childhood education allows for more positive social interactions as children grow. And in a high-quality program, such as those that are NAEYC accredited, children are better prepared for school and are more likely to be successful as they grow.
But a high-quality program is not enough. Benefits vary with adult involvement. Teachers and parents have a great impact when establishing trust and confidence within children. Children who are more comfortable with those around them will be able to learn more quickly because that is another thing they do not have to worry about. Thus, good parent-teacher relationships are crucial and must work together to ensure everyone is getting the best attention and care they need.
One of the ways we prioritize each child’s individual needs and foster a student’s unique curiosities is by introducing them to many different activities throughout their time at Casa and encouraging them to keep trying. We foster activities in STEM, the arts, physical activities, and more.
Discussions Surrounding Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education is so important that it is oftentimes a topic of discussion for policymakers. Another reason early childhood education has recently been regarded as absolutely crucial is thanks to the work of James Heckman, a Nobel-winning economist who detailed how early childhood education is a better investment for our society than the stock market.
Advocacy for Early Childhood Education
Now that you have read why early childhood education is important, you may understand why advocating for those who are working to shape the lives of children is vital. By being an advocate for early childhood education, you are representing children, teachers, and parents, thus protecting everyone’s future. You can explore some advocacy options here or here.
Another way you can communicate the importance of these programs to your community is by owning our own Casa franchise! Make a long-lasting and positive impact in the lives of children by starting here.