Early childhood education
generally begins from birth to age eight. This is a time of considerable brain development and considered to be the years that lay the foundation for lifelong training and learning. Early childhood education often focuses on learning through play. Early childhood education generally includes preschool education and kindergarten. The terms Day Care and Childcare do not include educational aspects.
There are five different developmental domains of children which are referred to as SPICE:
Social - Refers mostly to the ability to form attachments, play with others, co-operation and sharing, and being able to create lasting relationships with others.
Physical - Development of Fine (small) and Gross (large) motor skills.
Intellectual - The process of making sense of the world around them.
Creative - The development of creative talents. Music, art, writing, reading, and singing are all ways for creative development to take place.
Emotional - Development of self-awareness, self-confidence, and coping with feelings as well as understanding them.
Parents are an integral part of early childhood education. A child’s early education varies greatly depending on the beliefs of the parents. The first two years of a child’s life is crucial in the creation of the child’s “sense of self.” Researchers in the field of early childhood education believe this is the time that a child learns how they should function, and how they expect others to function in relation to them. For this reason, family, home, culture and home language are very important. If a child doesn’t receive proper nurturing, nutrition, parental care and interaction and stimulus during this crucial time, the child may be left with a developmental deficit that interferes with his or her success in preschool, kindergarten and beyond.