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When children are young, they are learning sponges. Every new experience, every word they learn, every behaviour they adopt, is an investment in a more fruitful future.
You can never have a greater impression on a person than when they are in their early childhood years.
Early childhood education is about honing and moulding the holistic child, which will eventually form the basis of their lifelong journey.
Following are the 7 key benefits of Early Childhood Education:-
1-Socialization Socialization with people other than the child’s family in a safe environment is an essential foundational element to the below areas. As parents, we intuitively understand that it’s important to introduce our children to other children and support their transition into their own friendship groups. The earlier we do this, the better, as it helps children overcome shyness and gain self-confidence. If we leave this too long, we actually hinder their social development.
2-Respect Teaching the value of respect for others. This is not limited to people and belongings, but can also mean respect for their environment, both immediate and global. There is no better place to learn this virtue than in a hectic preschool environment, where everything is shared and civility and manners are both taught and learned organically.
3- Confidence and Self-Esteem This is critical. A strong sense of wellbeing provides children with confidence, optimism and self-esteem which will encourage children to explore their talents, skills and interests. Positive interactions with other children and teachers will promote a positive, healthy and secure view of themselves that will allow them to approach situations and problems confidently throughout their lives.
4- Concept of Cooperation Learning how to share, cooperate, take turns and persevere within a safe learning environment, guided by professionals who have the children’s best interests at heart. This is especially important for the first child, who may not be used to sharing with their siblings at home - while it can be a difficult lesson, it’s so crucial to learn it early.
5- Teamwork Demonstrating and instilling the importance of teamwork that can teach respect for the opinions of others, listening, cooperation and equality.
Many preschool activities are centred around teamwork for this very reason; a person who learns how to work in a team at an early age will ultimately be more socially attuned and more employable!
6- Patience Every day as adults, we encounter situations where our patience is tested. Children need opportunities to be involved in an abundance of social experiences, where they can explore and practice the social skill of patience.
By teaching through examples, role modelling and social experiences, children are able to develop their patience and learn to wait for their turn. Examples from the preschool setting include sharing a teacher’s attention, a toy, the playground or waiting in line for a game.
7- Concentration During preschool years, children explore at every opportunity to discover new experiences, new friends and new environments. Their minds are so lively and imaginative.
As early childhood educators we need to balance this zest with the ability to listen, follow directions, attend to tasks and participate in group activities to develop the critical life skill of concentration.
Preschool is so much more than playing. While the basic educational benefits of preschool (such as literacy and numeracy) are tangible, the advances children achieve towards becoming well-rounded individuals are truly invaluable.