Monday, October 4, 2010

Early childhood education

Early childhood education often focuses on children learning through play.According to UNESCO ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) Unit, Early childhood is defined as the period from birth to 8 years old. A time of remarkable brain development, these years lay the foundation for subsequent learning.The terms preschool education and kindergarten emphasize education around the ages of 3–6 years. The terms "early childhood learning,"early care," and "early education" are comparable with early childhood education. The terms Day care and Childcare do not embrace the educational aspects. Many childcare centers are now using more educational approaches. They are creating curricula and incorporating it into their daily routines to foster greater educational learning.Researchers in the field and early childhood educators both view the parents as an integral part of the early childhood education process.Early childhood education takes many forms depending on the beliefs of the educator or parent.
Much of the first two years of life are spent in the creation of a child's first "sense of self" or the building of a first identity.This is a crucial part of children's makeup—how they first see themselves, how they think they should function, how they expect others to function in relation to them. For this reason, early care must ensure that in addition to employing carefully selected and trained caretakers, program policy must emphasize links with family, home culture, and home language, meaning caregivers must uniquely care for each child using Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Individually Appropriate Practice and Culturally Appropriate Practice. Care should support families rather than be a substitute for them.
If a young child doesn't receive sufficient nurturing, nutrition, parental/caregiver interaction, and stimulus during this crucial period, the child may be left with a developmental deficit that hampers his or her success in preschool, kindergarten, and beyond.Worst-case scenarios such as those found in Russian and Romanian orphanages demonstrate how the lack of proper social interaction and development of attachment affect the developing child.Children must receive attention and affection to develop in a healthy manner.


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