9 Key Benefits of Early Childhood Education
There's an old saying that little children's minds are like blank pages. Everything they experience, both good and bad, shapes the way they behave later in life. Early childhood education, which can be defined as the practical education of 8-year kids and below, is, without doubt, a key aspect of a child's development process that's unfortunately often overlooked. This is mainly because most people are not aware of its benefits to holistic child growth. In case you weren't aware, here are nine major advantages of early childhood education:
1. Inculcates Social SkillsPreschool programs typically involve children spending time with other children in a safe, controlled environment. As a result, the kids develop essential social skills like empathy, interpersonal skills and the ability to tolerate others. They can relate better to their parents and the society both in their childhood and in adulthood.
2. Easy School LifeEarly education is fundamentally an introduction to standard education. Its main aim is to get children better prepared for the rigors of the education system. And it works. Studies show that more than 60% of all people who went through preschool programs found it easy to progress through grade school. Depending on quality, early education generally improves a child's mental health, emotional wellbeing and social development which enables them to better handle academic and personal challenges in later years.
3. Enhances Communication SkillsIt is at preschool that most children get their first interactive experiences with people who are not family, friends, or relatives. By interacting with other kids and teachers, they learn how to communicate with others and by extension, how to accommodate the opinions of others. Additionally, children develop a basic understanding of body language and can better express themselves through both words and actions.
4. Increases Enthusiasm for EducationEarly childhood education is designed to be as fun and exciting as possible while still meeting the learning objectives. Use of enjoyable items like brain teasers, colorful crayons, and math toys enhances the perception of education among children, and they start viewing education as fun, rather than boring. It is widely held that kids who go through quality preschools are more curious and thirsty for knowledge when they reach school going age. That, of course, leads to higher performance both in academics and general knowledge.
5. Improves DisciplineSpending time with other kids in the presence of trained teachers will have a positive effect on your child's discipline. By seeing other kids behave properly, they are also less likely to throw tantrums, cry or be moody. Also, getting used to particular routines and procedures at an early age prepares children for school and professional life which requires the same. Having properly trained teachers to handle kids at preschool level is particularly important as they serve as the first disciplinarians and are involved in shaping the behaviors of the little ones.
6. Boosts Mastery of ConceptsPreschool teachers employ a variety of methods to enable learners to understand key concepts like spelling, arithmetic, and writing. Usage of these methods, which include counting games and triangular pencils enhances concept mastery skills and enables the kids to better understand concrete logic. Learning how to write properly at preschool also increases a child's opportunities in life. They might even open an online essay writing service in adulthood.
7. Helps in Developing Physical SkillsPreschool is not all about sharpening learning skills, important physical skills such as dexterity or fine motor skills are also developed at that stage. Common activities like repeatedly using baby-friendly scissors and tweezers, turning over coins and toys on the floor, and using baby-sized clippers to clip papers develop strength in the hands and improve hand to eye coordination. As a result, learners can properly hold items like a pen, which makes it easier for them to learn how to write when they get to kindergarten.
8. Develops TeamworkUnlike homeschooling which is centered on one or two children, having many kids interact and learn together in preschool improves their collective sense of teamwork and cooperation. This proves to be essential later in life when they have to work in office departments or even in college groups. As teamwork improves, so do the values of friendship, trust, and respect for each other. Such skills are crucial in the evolution of the learners from little self-centered babies to respectful and caring human beings who can fit in any society.
9. Improves Problem-Solving SkillsPreschool teachers are strongly advised to provide tools and items that promote problem-solving and critical thinking skills among learners. These include clay, alphabetical charts, beads and various plastic shapes. By playing with the clay, for instance, a child learns how to create a different design which is a good practice for their creative side. When teachers ask questions like "How many beads can fit into X," critical thinking skills come into play and with good practice; the kids will know how to solve most of the problems that they face.
How important quality early childhood education is cannot be emphasized enough. Unfortunately, we are still a long way to achieving 100% enrollment as currently, most parents prefer individual homeschooling and childcare programs to preschool. It doesn't help matters either that quality preschool is expensive and out of reach for the majority of parents. Even so, with significant investments by the government and education of the parents, early education will soar and so will millions of our children. In the end, our nation, and the world stands to benefit significantly from well-educated, well-raised kids.
What's your experience with early childhood education? Which of these benefits have you seen in the children who've gone through this? Let us know in the comments section.
Author's Bio: Charles is a career mentor, motivational speaker & human resources consultant with over 10 years of experience in HR sector. Apart from career mentoring, he loves photography and football. Find him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook & Google+.