What is Early Childhood Education?

The benefits of early childhood education is frequently been disputed. In 2006, film director Rob Reiner introduced a bill in California that would obligate the state to fund pre-school education. The bill however did not pass, yet numerous experts consider early childhood education having some advantages to the child. The bill’s opponents were those that did not like the idea of tax dollars being used to fund for the pre-schools, or parents who feel the idea of requiring pre-school violates their rights to nurture their children in the manner they deem appropriate.

In the US, there is indisputable proof that an early childhood education has its advantages, based on studies conducted by Head Start programs. Head Start kids enrolling in kindergarten and first grade manifest higher IQ scores and experience fewer problems concerning their behavior and social skills. Furthermore, Head Start kids were more likely to absorb and comprehend information quickly.

Those that remain doubtful point out that the advantage of Head Start kids usually lasts only for the first three years of school at the most. By the time they reach fourth grade, students who have not benefited from early childhood education have managed to catch up socially and academically. Even if a Head Start child may have the advantage of starting early, it does not automatically mean finishing first.

Early childhood education refers to a diverse variety of programs. Some consider any form of daycare as education. On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence that shows early daycare is more of a disadvantage to young children. Staying longer at home in the company of a single caregiver usually intellectually stimulates young children more. Staying at home also leads to longer periods of breastfeeding which many believe, greatly benefits the child.

A good number of experts agree that for early childhood education to work best, it should be situated in low-pressure environment with a friendly and social atmosphere. Preschools are more effective if it only takes a minor part in the daily life of a child. Long hours spent at a day care may not be beneficial for children since it means being away from their parents. Not all programs offer the same benefits since certain factors like the ratio of teacher to child, teaching experience and funding can greatly affect the program’s performance.

Early childhood education taken in quality preschools offer several long term benefits. Among such advantages are greater parental involvement, higher grades, greater capability to focus, and enhanced social skills. Studies also prove that children who attend preschool are more prone to graduate and take up higher education. Further studies have shown that children who took up early childhood education are unlikely to perform illegal acts and tend to be more financially stable.

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