Early childhood education encompasses two terms: preschool education and kindergarten. While talking about early education, we usually take into account education around the ages of three and six years. It is important to keep in mind that Day care as well as Childcare do not cover educational issues. Most educators and researches in the field of early childhood education support the idea of utmost importance of parents’ role in the education process. First two years of life are the turning point in the child’s self-identification, that is why education process may go different ways depending on the parents’ beliefs and teachers’ methodology. In case if child does not receive necessary care during this crucial period, he or she might face difficulties in further stages: preschool, kindergarten and so on. ( Abbot & Moylett 1999) As a matter of fact, early childhood education is a foundation for child’s educational progress and success. In early childhood kids develop habits and models of behavior. Teachers and parents have to show children what is self-discipline and self-control, because they should not be allowed to behave the way they want and, of course, they have to know what word “no” stands for. Early childhood education can be basically termed as "Learning through play". Generally, early childhood encompasses the first eight years in the life of individual. Recent researches have proved, that during this phase children’s brain develops, thus educational process along with nutrition can actually affect child mental growth.( Abbot & Moylett 1999) It is true, that early childhood education during early years should be more concentrated on teaching children about the world around them through play and develop links. Play is very important as it helps in development of children and makes learning process more versatile and exciting, it gives opportunity to develop various skills and gives general knowledge of ethics and values.
If educators manage to choose sufficient methods, children will be on their way to achieving great educational goals. The attitudes and values that form the foundation of child’s personality are formed during the first years of human being’s life. When a challenge requires important decisions, or when one has to face difficult situations, those values, acquired in the early childhood, will provide options, resolutions and behaviors.
As it has already been mentioned above, early childhood education refers to a diverse range of programs. Daycare is sometimes referred to as an education as well, but it is very controversial issue, as it might not be as fruitful as it seems. The problem is, that long time spent with the same caregiver is not stimulating for young kids. However, most researchers agree, that education process works best in friendly, calm, social and low pressure environments.( Baum & McMurray-Schwarz, 2004 ) Preschool should not exceed allowed time for five year old kid, as long hours at daycare may be stressful and exhausting, thus not carrying benefit for young ones. The high-quality early childhood education includes parental involvement, because long time away from parents is not beneficial for kids. There are five different developmental domains of children which all relate to each other, they are: social( abilities to play with others and create long-lasting relationships with others); physical( development of motor skills); intellectual ( development of consciousness and the process of making sense of the world around); creative ( development of special abilities like singing, dancing, drawing etc.) emotional ( development of self-awareness and self-confidence)
(Abbot & Moylett 1999)
There are many scholars in various fields who believe that the sooner we introduce our youngest children to reading, math and science, the more capable their brains will be to learn more advanced knowledge. But, the reality is that there is an aspect of early learning that is frequently not taken into account. (Gallagher 2004)
Sometimes it is important for a child to stay longer with his mother, but on the other hand if mother does not possess any educational skills, child may be deprived of basics which are sufficient for further stages, so if parents would not give their child to kindergarten, for instance, it might face serious hardships while interacting with children in school due to the lack of social factor in its upbringing.
There is no doubt, that parents play great part in children’s upbringing, but parents may also be crucial to proper early childhood education. Basically, parents should read to their children, teach the alphabet, letter formation, and also teach their kids how to count. It is very important to give your children basic skills set before entering school, it will for sure be a great advantage and step to success. (Rimm-Kaufman & Pianta,1999)
We cannot but mention pros and cons of early childhood education. First of all, early education gives children a chance to get wide range of experience which they would not be able to get staying at home. One of he sufficient points is, that children attending early childhood education programs became more emotionally prepared to further studying, as they have an opportunity to communicate with other children as well as educators. As to the disadvantages, we should point out the fact, that preschool programs are expensive, and usually they don’t prove to be money worth, because they are aimed to meet the needs of the whole group, but not an individual. (Abbot & Moylett 1999) Moreover, children attending such programs are exposed to various contagious illnesses, as they interact with sick children. Nevertheless, it is up to parents to decide what is better for their offspring, but still it is hard not to agree, that high-quality early childhood education helps prepare young children to succeed in school and become better citizens.
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