Education is something that is very important in today’s society since it prepares a person for the gigantic tasks and responsibilities that a person has to face in the real world. Because of this the government and institutions that caters to employing people place great emphasis on a person’s educational background. Like a domino effect, the institutions that provide education to people would endlessly develop and improve curriculums, facilities and school programs.
It is during college and university that the academe would demand so much from its students—thinking that those are the years which are most important while giving such low emphasis and importance to early childhood education such as day care, preschool and kindergarten. Even parents would mostly not think too much about these early years of education. In actuality, these years are the most important since it would be the catalyst for the child’s enthusiasm to develop his/her learning skills, social skills and critical thinking skills.
Thus, it is imperative for any parent to carefully choose what early childhood education program that would benefit their child the most. What exactly should a parent look for in such program? The National Research Council in 2000 (as cited by Currie, 2001) made a report that said there are three aspects which are important in early childhood education, to develop the “child’s cognitive skills, school readiness, and social and emotional development”. Thus, a good program would be focusing on those three aspects.
A child’s cognitive skills would be developed if the school will make efforts to learn what the child needs to learn more and learn less while providing engaging activities for him/her that would ensure optimum enhancement of cognitive skills, retention of already present cognitive skills and addition of such skills. Though this would be difficult since children’s intelligence, abilities, learning styles and mental capabilities are different, the school should make a point in trying to come up with a program that would be agreeable to all the children.
After all, having other children around them would benefit them in the long run since their social and emotional development would be enhanced too. Having other children around them that would blossom into friendship and companionship is another skill that is wonderful for their over-all growth. Such social and emotional development would only be developed through careful guidance of the caretakers who are there in the program.
Since the parents are usually not around or are separated from the actual activities, the caretakers would be the ones to encourage the children to talk to each other, spend time with each other and then eventually become friends. Thus, it is essential for an early childhood educational program to have efficient guides/caretakers/teachers within. Lastly, the National Research Council also mentioned of a good program that would prepare the child for school readiness.
This is a daunting task for the program implementers since children are usually reluctant to go into a formal school system and leave the comforts of their homes when there were no strict school rules to follow and school responsibilities to do. School readiness is necessary since it would make the child appreciate the school as an institution that would nurture his/her skills as a person and in the long run, would also appreciate the training that the school is doing to prepare him/her for the more daunting life in the real world.
School readiness does not really have a tangible and concrete way of being developed, instead, the school just needs create an environment that the pupils and students would enjoy. Thus, the school facilities and educational materials and something simple as lighting that would help the children into appreciating school should be conducive to the pupils’ overall growth.
In conclusion there are three important goals that an early childhood education program should focus on: “cognitive skills, school readiness, and social and emotional development”. All the school activities, materials and facilities should focus on achieving such aim. Also, the characteristics of such program would depend whether it targets one of these objectives effectively and efficiently. References Currie, J. (2001). Early childhood education programs. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 15(2): 213-238. JSTOR database.
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