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The Importance of Early Childhood Education

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Early childhood educators are very special people we hold a significant responsibility not only by teaching but by making sure they are well prepared for their school journey and the future they make as adults. During 1995 and 2005 the general public became more aware of early development and the importance of early education. There is a lot of research that shows clearly the social, academic, and economic benefits of early childhood education. Having the opportunity to attend a high-quality early childhood center has shown to have an impact on a child’s social and cognitive education, and to have success in school which supports a more skilled work force. As a result, federal funding for Head Start programs continues to increase and many stated have begun to fund education for 3-4-year-old, particularly at risk and low-income families.

Early Years

Early childhood education has been in place for centuries starting with Plato (427-347 B.C) who in the fourth century could look at and respond to a well-developed educational system. Plato wrote his philosophical at a time when its government was in disarray. He suggested a design for early childhood education from birth to age 6, learning should be informal, for “knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind. So do not use compulsion but let early education be sort of amusement”

Like Plato there was also Aristotle (384-322 B.C) he argued that children have varying talents and skills, and that these should be enhanced. John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) was a bishop in the persecuted Moravian church his educational ideas were widely received throughout Europe his book was translated to a dozen languages in early childhood education. He believed that young children are best able to grasp knowledge that releases to their own lives and that learning must be concreate before it can be abstract. He suggests that young children should begin by learning such basic concepts as a lot or a little and that a rote counting is a different and much simpler skill than understanding of numbers necessary for addition and subtraction. His ideas affected how we know see early childhood standards.

Imagine play is an essential factor of a child’s normal development. What may seem to be a simple and uncomplicated way for children to entertain themselves is a complex process that affects all aspects of a child’s life. Play outlines how children make sense of their worlds, how they learn thinking skills, and how they acquire language. Children talk to themselves when they are role-playing which they are creating a story, when children imitate others, they are developing a vocabulary that will allow them to navigate the world.

Psychologist Lev Vygotsky theory of cognitive development is that information from the external world is transformed and internalized through language. When children play, they are making sense of the world through a process of ‘inner speech’ because they talk out load to themselves, as adults, we lose this capacity because it is not socially sanctioned. According to Vygotsky, language also has a purpose of regulation, or self-control over one’s own cognitive processes such as memory and thought.

Through child-centered play, children take on different roles and try out different languages, all of which help them on the journey from being externally regulated to internally regulate in cognition. Through play, children become more knowledgeable in their language use and begin to adjust their own thought processes. Imaginative play is very essential to cognitive development but is becoming rare by our busy lives as parents. Children who do not engage in imaginative play because their time is excessively structured or spent watching television or other forms of media are not developing the language and reasoning skills that are so serious to early childhood development.

Factors that Impact ECE

This socioeconomic context means you will have to help children overcome family conditions that may put them in danger. Working parents, single parent household, and teenage parents, children are living in poverty sometime with grandparents or other family members, with limited resources, decreasing support for schools especially inner city and low-income neighborhoods. Language is a big factor create literacy programs of mommy and me groups where parents can come and meet other parents. The increase in racial, ethical and cultural diversity in America is reflected in early childhood classrooms. Achievement Gaps among students of different income levels are severe in ECE. Lead poisoning is also a factor because it affects their attention spans, reading and learning disabilities, hyperactivity and behavior problems. Childhood diabetes and obesity these children can have higher incidence of depression

Parent Involvement

Working in the field of education, I have been in different schools where Parent Involvement is key to the program. These are some strategies that work have worked for me in the schools I’ve worked at.

• Non-Judgmental Communication. In order to gain the trust and confidence of parents, teachers must avoid making them feel they are to blame or are doing something wrong.

• Strong Leadership and Administrative Support. Flexible policies, a welcoming environment, teachers alone cannot bring success to parent involvement projects Principals and staff must also be committed to project goals.

One of the best methods of Parent Involvement is to invite them to parent group meetings these usually are at school were the student attends. These programs focus on home management tricks, helping parents acknowledge job skills, knowledge of ways to motivate children, increasing parent self-awareness.

Holding parent group meetings, we hold one of these monthly, where we talk about healthy eating, they also come in to their children’s classroom and do an activity that the teacher has assigned for the day. Parents love to talk and interact with each other they give each other tips on ways to help promote literacy at home and other subjects this is when we have our “walk and talk” parent meeting the teachers come up with different questions that are posted all over campus where the parents walk around and stop to talk and answer the question, this is a great way for exercise and knowledge. The school also brings in a guest speaker once a month the cool thing about it is that the presenter talks about what the child is already learning in the classroom. We have been talking about our health and our body) so we had a guest speaker from a dentist office come in and talk about healthy food and healthy teeth.

There are also schools that a have Family Resource Room that is open during school hours there is a staff personnel that oversees getting guest speakers and community involvement classes for parents. They also have a resource room with computers that help parents learn another language through a program called Rosetta Stone. They also have a food pantry that three squares food bank helps stock up monthly for refugee parents that need food.

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