A Brief Introduction To Early Childhood Development

parents playing with daughter early childhood development

Children are precocious learners, and the period of early childhood is key to tapping into their innate potential and shaping their future. Read on as I share about the importance of early childhood development, and how we as parents can help our children make the most of their childhood to start preparing for a better future.

parents playing with daughter early childhood development

What is early childhood development?

Early childhood development refers to the developmental phases that children undergo from birth to eight years of age. Among the many physical changes they face, juvenile brains experience rapid proliferation of neural connections, with millions being formed every second. This is followed by a natural pruning process to ensure that brain circuits are more efficient, with more complex brain circuits being built upon basic ones. We might recall these changes during our own childhood. Many of us will agree that our childhood whizzed by so fast we can hardly remember everything except those special moments which we have recounted fondly to our own children today.

In many ways, early childhood development is essential as it forms the bedrock of how your child will process, learn, adapt, and experience everything in life. In addition, your child’s emotional, cognitive, and social capabilities are highly intertwined, meaning that the social, linguistic, and critical thinking skills they learn from young are important prerequisites that shape their success in the future, be it pursuing tertiary education, in the workplace, or raising their own family. From one friend to another, I see them facing issues managing their kids. Some have it easier than others. Much depends on how much planning put into their kids’ early years and attaining a careful balance as parents. 

How can I help my child make the most of their early childhood?

As parents, we want the best for our children in every aspect of their lives. In my opinion, here are some ways to make the most of early childhood development and help your child develop holistically.

#1 Provide them with diverse experiences

While children’s brains are primed to learn and soak in new information, the responsibility  lies with us as parents to provide them with the proper stimuli. To facilitate early childhood development, we should expose our children to diverse hobbies, ranging from letting them try out sports, art and crafts, music and dance, programming, or bringing them for trips to museums, zoos, and libraries. Not only does it build your child’s foundations in learning, it also grows their confidence and ability to focus on their passions over time.

Parents should also take a vested interest in their children’s development. This can range from setting aside time daily to read together, or asking them how their extra-curricular classes went and following up on their progress. This promotes your child’s communication skills, as well as fosters trust and understanding between both parties.

Provide a safe and nurturing environment.

Research has found that extended chronic stress can result in poorer overall health, be it physical, emotional, or mental. When children experience stressful situations over extended periods, it can result in undevelopment of neural connections in their brains, which consequently leads to poorer learning and behaviour. We can facilitate our children’s early childhood development and health by providing a safe and nurturing environment for them.

This ranges from having empathy to understand their struggles instead of scolding them, as well as being a firm yet approachable source of support and guidance. Not only does this strengthen our children’s health and wellbeing, it also helps them build up soft skills and values such as trust, openness, and honesty. This allows them to forge meaningful relationships as they grow up and build their own lives.

Enroll your child in early childhood courses.

Early childhood education courses in Singapore are taught by early childhood educators, who are experienced in both developmental psychology and education pedagogy. They create a warm and conducive environment to bring out the best in your child, using engaging activities that stimulate your child’s creativity, expression, critical thinking, and imagination.

In addition, early childhood educators will provide feedback on your child’s progress in class, ranging from their learning to how they are interacting with their peers. This allows you to keep abreast of their learning and supplement it outside class hours, making the most of your child’s early childhood development while taking timely action to provide additional support if necessary.

It is always important to start planning with your spouse for early childhood education courses and plenty of resources are available right here in Singapore. Do not hesitate to reach out to me today to find out more!

By Carean Oh, Writers Studio, Writers Studio School of English

- Carean Oh

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