Early Childhood Development
The first 4 years of life for a child is a time of development of the brain where their brain is like a sponge and can be molded. It is a time where new information and a learning environment that is suitable for their growth and development. According to Rebekah Elle, children are able to learn at a fast pace during their early stage of their age especially new information (wehavekids.com, par 4). Education is an important and fundamental part of development that, when it is started off at an early age through early childhood education program, it sets a child on the part for success.
According to O'Brien's article, 69 percent of all four-year-old children will by participating in an early childhood program by the year 2005. Some of these programs are state-funded pre-k, government-funded special education for children in need, preschool centers and federally-funded Head Start program (O'Brien, par 6). This will level the rapid growth of learning that it will continuously prepare them for their education that the highest proportion of college graduates will be ready to face the world. Though the number continue to increase for early childhood education, many parents still struggle with making this decision but as parents, we should strive for this advantage of elevating the learning experience of our children to better their education as a whole.
Through my research and data collected, I have learned the benefits of early childhood education and through this essay, I hope to learn more and inform more parents about the benefits of early childhood education. Through this paper, parents will be educated and minds are changed in considering some aspects of early childhood exposure for their children. I hope the information in this essay encourages parents to consider putting their children in daycare or preschool. Early childhood education helps with cognitive development to have better social skills and being more prepare for learning as well as the fundamentals of growth (NEA.com, 2002-2019). Early childhood education comes with many skills that are short-term and long-term benefits in growth and developmental areas of our life. Early childhood education helps in reaching a developmental need that prepares children with skills needed for kindergarten.
In fact, evidences show that early childhood education programs, like preschool and daycare, prepares children for school. Early childhood education programs teach children the academics that are needed to be ready for kindergarten. "Most kindergartens are expected to enter school knowing their alphabet, numbers 1-10, writing their first and last name, development of basic social skills and comprehension (wehavekids.com, par 11). These skills are basic and simple, but fundamentals to have in their lives especially for school and as a student. According to Linda Smith, kindergarten teachers find that, students who are ready for school and learning are those who come with development in their social and behavior management skills" (Why Preschool matters, par 4).
Having this development allows these children to be able to focus in class while those who lack these skills, struggle with learning and being focus. Exposure to early childhood education helps build confident to ensure that social and behavior skills are developed. Development of these skills helps lose the shyness and build their self-esteem. While children who lack early childhood education, face the feeling of anxiety, fear and scared that, it builds a barrier in learning hen there are at school age.
The Importance of Early Childhood Development article provides insight on the long-term benefits of early childhood education. It shows that, cognitive development of the child is well impacted by the first 5 years of a child's life. It prepares them for great understanding for learning and being set for life at a better advantage, which will stay with them for the rest of their life because it will never depart from them. Kaspar Burger's article also shows that, early childhood education has a positive effect of cognitive development on children. It gives them the cognitive advantage to be well develop in learning, understanding and know what is right from wrong as well as being able to comprehend information and learning what is taught at a much rapid rate of understanding.
Preschool also teaches important life skills such as social skills to help build up the esteem of children. Elle states that "social skills such as learning how to listen, nice talk, brave talk, taking turns, acceptance of multi-cultural differences, apologies, when to say please and thank you, how to speak in a group, helping each other, learning compassion and empathy" (wehavekids.com, par 8). These are basic behavior and manners that will help in adapting as a kindergartener and many kindergarten teachers finds these skills to be of great importance for young children to be prepared for school. These skills help them interact with those around them in an appropriate manner and helps in gaining a sense of self, explore and play with peers while building their confidence (Why Preschool Matters, par 6). Through a well-rounded development, children can develop into their own unique self and be solid in their sense of self overall. Preschool also allows young children to learn through exploration, experimentation and conversation. Children learn how to be more independent and less reliant on their parent for everything. This helps them begin to take care of themselves and become their own person.
Early childhood education not only affects children now when they are young it also provides them with some long-term benefits. Rebekah Elle recaps on the structure that young children learn and develop in an early childhood education program by stating that "once they are settled into the structure and routine of the preschool classroom, it begins to build a solid framework for their future school career which will be much more structured and demanding" (wehavekids.com, par 7). Being comfortable in an environment that is structured and demanding prepares them not only for school but for life in general, such as their future career choice. There are plenty of research findings that can support the claim that children who attend early childhood education programs tend to do better later in school. One study that was conducted in Michigan to track some of the long-term benefits of an early education found that "children from the state pre-k program had higher pass rates on the fourth-grade literacy and math tests compared with non-participants" (O'Brien & Dervaric, par 28).
These findings help support that an early childhood education can affect children even later in life not just in kindergarten and the early years of education. Experts in early childhood development at child-encyclopedia.com believe that a child's early experiences can have a serious impact on their future development. "The emotional, social, and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult, they will become" (Encyclopedia on early childhood development, par 1). The many skills that children learn in an early childhood education program will affect them for the rest of their life. Parents should strive to start their children off with a solid head start in skill development and basic general knowledge in order to better their future.
In Lawrence article "Pros and Cons about Preschool for Four-year-olds" shows the importance and benefits of early childhood education as well as the negative of early childhood education. This article is very insightful and I enjoyed it because it gave both side of early childhood education. This source helps also give the negative aspects of early childhood education and allows transparency of both sides of the argument. Some of the cons have crossed my mine when I was debate on whether I should put my son in early childhood education like preschools but I didn't allow it to overshadow the many pros of it.
The initial research and article with evidence-based information has provided plenty of supports for my thesis on the importance and benefit of an early childhood education. For my thesis to convince and sway the negative minds, the benefits must outweigh all negativity of it, which it does. To provide great foundation and strengthen thesis, the negative aspects of early childhood education must be address to provide transparency and both side always. This helps in providing balance for my thesis to ensure there are no blind spots in preventing parents from taking on the decision to put their children in early childhood education to better develop in areas of their life. Though early childhood education is great and builds the growth and development for kindergarten, it is also very costly, which are some concerns of parents but this can be rebuttal through the suggestions of any program or assistance available to make it much easier and affordable
This is a huge challenge to ensure that the positive aspect of early childhood education is seen especially with a negative as big as cost being the weighing factor. It may take some work and convincing through highlighting the many positives of early childhood education. Though these positive will help solidify my thesis but I still fear that all these sources and finding will also be very difficult in being enough as well as credible. My hope is that, my research is enough to help parent understand the many benefits of early childhood education and investing in it, will be very beneficial in the long run of their life. Preschool gives young children plenty of time for imaginative play in a great setting and creativity time with art projects. The quality of the early education program also plays a crucial role in the decision-making process. It helps in developing independent skills, decision and choice making.
In conclusion, children would benefit greatly from the growth and development of an early childhood education program. Through research and writing this paper, it has prepared and educated me that, early childhood education still has the positive effective on the development of children especially in the preparation for school. Early childhood education prepares our children for a successful future. .
Burger, Kaspar. How does early childhood care and education affect cognitive development? An international review of the effects of early interventions for children from different social backgrounds. Elsevier
Elle, Rebekah. "Why Preschool Education Is Important For Your Child."
"Importance of early childhood development | Introduction." Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development,
Kanter, Beth. "Why Preschool Matters." Parents
Lawrence, Carissa. (2016). "Pros and Cons About Preschool for 4-year-olds." Pros and Cons About Preschool for 4 Year Olds. Education - Seattle PI, Hearst Seattle Media
O'Brien, Eileen M., and Chuck Dervarics. (2002). "Pre-Kindergarten: What the research shows." Pre-Kindergarten
"Research on Early Childhood Education." NEA
"Why All Kids Should Go to Preschool." Early Childhood Education Zone