“Brains are built over time, from the bottom up” – Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University. Nothing summarizes the importance of Early Learning defined as learning for 0-6 year old more than this.
The early years are the foundation for the rest of a person’s life. You might know that an astonishing amount of human brain development takes place during a short period of time during child development. Early learning or early childhood education is more than just learning basic skills and preparing a child for kindergarten. It is when the children open their eyes and senses to the world around them. It is now when they learn how to interact with others around them, including parents, siblings, peers, they also begin to develop interests that could stay with them throughout their lives. Children’s early years’ experiences lay the foundation for their holistic development - physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.
0-6 years sees the most rapid brain development; therefore, it is important to ensure children are given the right resources and tools in a nurturing environment and are stimulated just enough across various intelligences beyond literacy and numeracy. It is proven that parents’ involvement and participation in early year education nurtures a strong bond and improves children’s development.
Many early learning specialists claim that young children learn best when they are not pushed too hard, when they have an opportunity to interact with their environment and peers. They also learn best when instruction and educational activities are only a small portion of their daily routine with elements of ongoing repetition and reinforcement of concepts.
Various experiences embedded in daily activities and interactions play a big role in creating new neural connections in a child’s brain. While repetition of such experiences strengthens the connections, the under usage makes them disappear over time.
Why Early Learning:
- Lays a strong foundation for future holistic development.
- Improves brain development and emotional intelligence, develops highly independent adults.
- Develops a love of learning and exploration.
- Develops confidence and self-esteem
- Lays a strong foundation for socialization, co-operation, self-awareness, patience, creativity and empathy.
Introduction of a second language in early years boosts problem-solving, critical-thinking, and listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask. Children proficient in other languages also show signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility.
A great early learning program strikes the right balance of activities that target development of cognitive skills, social skills, fine motor skills, language skills, movement, creativity, and imagination.