The brain of young children is wired for learning and absorbing information. In addition, recent studies and research show that these early years are the most for a child’s future performance and overall growth as an adult.
According to specialists, investment in early childhood education (or ECE) makes a huge difference for disadvantaged children. Moreover, this is an investment with high returns in the long run. If we focus more on caring for the education of young children, we will have future adults with improved cognitive abilities and better honed behavioural traits such as sociability, motivation, and self-esteem.
In short, ECE has the possibility to help current generations in their effort to make the world a better place for future generations. Through proper ECE, we will manage to make a difference in the lives of young children and help them become capable and responsible future citizens.
What is ECE & Who Does It?
Early Childhood Education takes place from birth to 8 years old (about the age when children reach second- or third-grade level). This way, educators have the chance to provide children with a solid base for learning and future development, guiding young minds towards a better future. This effect is similar for both children from privileged environments and for disadvantaged children, but it makes more of an impact on the latter category.
Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between children who drop out of high school and those who get to be incarcerated at least once in their lifetime. However, to keep children interested in school regardless of their environment, we need to start at an early age. According to specialists, children who benefit from ECE are less likely to deal with the juvenile justice system or get incarcerated as adults.
Moreover, ECE can also motivate children to get involved in various community projects, fit for their age and capabilities.
Who Is Involved in Our Children’s Education?
Now that we know a bit about the power of ECE, let’s take a look at the people who can get involved in such a program. After all, you need to be able to teach small children, according to their power of understanding and guide young minds into staying curious and passionate about learning new things throughout their lifetime.
Luckily, anyone who has the skills and determination can apply for an ECE program on campus or online. Both have their benefits, but an Early Childhood Education online course is a better fit for working adults who don’t have a flexible schedule. Regardless of the path you decide to take, it’s important to understand just how big of a role you’ll play in moulding future generations and communities.
An early childhood education degree is also the way to a promising career in education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, preschool teachers and directors job offers will increase by 7% through 2028. Therefore, if you enjoy working with young children, ECE can become your professional path.
The Benefits of ECE for Society
We’ve mentioned before that ECE is crucial for a well-developed society, but it also helps to have a few benefits in mind. Here are the top 3 that show just how much this type of education can help future societies:
#1: Economic Benefits
Access to high-quality and reliable Early Childhood Education allows parents to return to work faster, without worrying about their children’s safety and overall well-being. In addition, the children also benefit from being exposed to various social scenarios as they learn to communicate and interact with each other at an earlier age.
Also, research suggests that children that were exposed to ECE practices are more likely to pursue higher education and become highly functioning members of society. Lastly, Early Childhood Education empowers women and increases diversity in the workplace as it allows young mothers to return to work (either part-time or full-time) after the first few years of childcare.
#2: A More Stable Future
As the workforce is changing, we also notice changes in other areas as well. Nowadays, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest developments in your field if you want to keep up with the competition. And this will only get more pressing for future generations.
Therefore, children need to be taught about lifetime learning from an early age. Also, they need to have a few tools at their disposal that can keep them motivated and interested as the world changes right under their eyes. While young children today are quite versatile and feel at home with new technologies, they still need help when it comes to socializing and maintaining interest.
Therefore, ECE can help increase their chances at a more stable future by teaching them the building blocks such as a love for learning and curiosity.
#3: Reduce Cognitive Development Gaps
Much of the cognitive development happens before children enter kindergarten, which places the burden of education on the family (mostly parents and immediate caretakers). However, due to differences in environment, wages, and other similar factors, the level of education is different in each household.
For instance, one 1995 research shows that children from families with low financial possibilities will learn, on average, 30 million fewer words than their counterparts that come from more affluent families. In layman’s terms, this means that children from poorer families spend less time with their parents and are being spoken to less, which immediately puts them at a disadvantage. In addition, this disadvantage becomes obvious later in life as it is evident in academic performance and overall cognitive development.
However, ECE professionals can help reduce the gap by offering children from disadvantaged environments access to better education. This way, they will have the right tools for developments later in life.
While it is true that parents play an important role in their children’s development, not all of them are equipped with the right tools. In addition, some parents barely manage to spend some time with their children, which may undermine the child’s future chances.
Therefore, the world needs more capable Early Childhood Education specialists that can step up and provide young generations with the blocks they need for a brighter tomorrow. In our effort to build a better world, we need to start quite early!