Early learning or early education are terms that are used to describe programs that provide education for children outside their home before kindergarten. People usually confuse it with baby care or baby- sitting but it is more than that. Parents are undeniably children’s first and most important teachers but young children need meaningful learning opportunities to develop skills, and a foundation for learning throughout life.
For most children, preschool is their first experience in a structured setting with teachers and others children. It is an opportunity to learn the foundation for learning that will occur in the next level of education.
The first five years are particularly important for the development of the child’s brain but the first three years are the most critical in shaping the child brain’s architecture, physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. It should be noted that growth of mental and physical abilities progress at an amazing rate and much of the learning takes place from birth to six years.
Education begins from the moment the child id brought home from hospital and continues when the child starts to attend play groups and kindergartens. The learning capabilities of humans continue for the rest of their lives, but not at the intensity that is demonstrated in the preschool years.
Preschool is essential for a child because it is the building block for their elementary education. It helps in laying down a healthy foundation for the all- round development of children; allowing them to build a base for the future in education.
Early learning exposes the creativity of the child, thus allowing him/ her to develop personality in a natural way. In this case, children will definitely develop competencies in healthy eating and wellness habits, greater identity of who they are and creative expression through the arts.
A child will also learn to find a life outside their home. They develop an independent personality. Becoming independent and besides learning to eat and sleep independently, a child learns to exist independently. It is very essential to the growth of the child that by the age of three, he/ she starts to show signs of independence.