What Happens During the Early Education Years?
During the early education years, children undergo a number of development milestones. These milestones are crucial for the child’s well-being.
Longitudinal studies have shown that ECEC contributes to higher school performance, improved lifelong health and greater productivity. Alvarado notes that National’s BAECE classes include field experience learning. This helps students gain practical skills while gaining confidence.
Social and emotional development
A child’s social and emotional development enables him or her to experience, regulate and express emotions; develop close and satisfying relationships with others; and actively explore his or her environment. These skills form a strong foundation for later activities like problem-solving and healthy risk-taking.
These skills can be taught by a well-trained teacher in small classes with lots of teacher interaction time. In this way, children learn to trust teachers and feel confident in themselves as learners. These feelings of self-esteem and a sense of belonging are linked to positive social and academic outcomes down the road.
A caring school climate and support for social-emotional learning in the early years can have a significant impact on students’ long-term achievement. Feldman says it can be the difference between a student seeing themselves as a capable learner or giving up in the face of difficulty, and one who persists. He points to research showing that a caring school culture is linked to higher academic achievement, including college attendance and graduation rates, as well as lower juvenile justice engagement.
Cognitive development is the building of knowledge and skills. This occurs throughout the early education years and lays the foundation for later learning.
Children learn how to ask questions, make observations, solve problems and learn about the world around them. Their brains grow rapidly during this time and the ability to learn is one of the most significant predictors of future academic success.
Preschool and kindergarten teachers use their teaching strategies to promote cognitive development by introducing students to new concepts and encouraging them to interact with their surroundings and participate in activities that stimulate thought.
While cognitive development is not an exact science, there are general theories on how the brain develops in young children that can give educators a clue as to what they may expect from their students. The most well-known theory is Piaget’s stage model, which is based on observation of young children and includes preoperational, concrete operational and formal operations stages.
The physical development of infants and young children is a very important part of their early education experience. It helps them to explore their environment and learn more about objects they see around them, as well as their own capabilities.
It is during this time that a child’s brain develops more than at any other point in life, so it’s important that they are encouraged to learn and be active as much as possible. This can help them build strong bones and muscles and improve their mental health.
Encourage physical activity by promoting indoor and outdoor play, creating flexible development plans, and providing plenty of space for moving and playing with objects. Also, try to include activities that develop fine motor skills such as threading beads, sewing cards or cloth, painting and exploring mark-making of all kinds, building with Lego or small blocks, pinching, rolling and cutting dough or clay. These will also help with cognitive development.
Developing language is one of the most remarkable achievements in early childhood. It is important for children to be able to communicate and interact with their caregivers and other children. This communication helps children understand the world around them and learn more about their environment.
By about nine months, children’s receptive language development improves significantly. They will turn or look towards a sound and respond to the voice of their parent or caregiver. They recognize family members’ names, play with sounds-producing toys, and start to say words like baba and mama. They will also start to understand the word no and variations in voice tone.
Children’s ability to learn through language and communication is essential for all areas of their cognitive development. However, children from lower socioeconomic families tend to enter school with poorer language skills than their more affluent peers. This is partly due to a lack of opportunities to engage in conversational interaction.