Learning Effectively Through Early Childhood Development
Throughout the course of my career as an education consultant, I have encountered different parents, each having their own set of expectations, yet all want their children to grow up healthily and happily. Children face key developmental periods across their early childhood, where they learn essential skills that will serve as the foundations of their future. Early childhood development is important and educators play a key role in nurturing the best in a child. Yet, nothing is more important than being your child’s best teacher.
Why is early childhood development important?
Could you recall your childhood? You have become the successful person you are as something went well during your education. Healthy childhood development makes a stronger and more successful individual in adulthood.
Early childhood development focuses on early childhood, which is defined as the period from birth to eight years of age. During this period, children experience exceptional growth and peak brain development, and are highly influenced both by their environment and people in their lives. This period can be broken down into 5 stages, with each stage having milestones to help parents track whether their children are developing normally. Examples include infants being able to communicate with gestures and imitate others, as well as toddlers being able to walk without help and do simple motor tasks.
Singaporean parents often see early childhood as a period to prepare their children academically, sending them for tuition and enrichment classes so they can get an edge over their peers when they step into primary school. In reality, early childhood development focuses on the bigger picture: holistically growing your child’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical abilities. Some examples of its importance include helping children to build strong relationships with their peers, tutors, and parents to instill trust and emotional stability, guiding their personal exploration of interests and passions which affect their future choices, and resilience and critical thinking to embrace and overcome new challenges they face throughout life.
It is important to nurture children from a young age to instill lifelong learning and overall wellbeing. I am a firm believer in values such as gratitude, respect, honour, and humility, educating children to contribute positively back to society and making the world a better place.
How do educators help your child?
Early childhood educators play an invaluable role in helping your child receive the education and support they need to grow holistically and healthily. They specialise in early childhood education pedagogy and working with young children from toddlers to children of six years of age. The majority of early childhood educators work at kindergartens and daycare centres, although there are also freelance educational consultants who help parents to identify their child’s strengths and educational preferences and provide useful advice.
One thing early childhood educators have in common is their boundless passion to help children become their best selves, with an attitude of ‘no child left behind’. They do so through effective teaching methods and strategies to constantly stimulate your child’s mind and imagination, incorporating creativity, art, and expression into their lessons. Educators also expose children to novel concepts and content, helping children explore their own interests and providing them opportunities and unconditional support. They focus on creating a positive learning environment, while also detecting behavioural or cognitive difficulties in children early on so as to provide more focused education and support to them and their parents.
Through educators’ support, parents can actively guide their child’s development and education, helping them to step into potential career paths. For example, if your child is gifted in arithmetic and numbers, they can be exposed to the basics of coding through interactive software; while children who are more visual and motor skill driven can be provided opportunities to explore visual arts and music. Parents of children with special needs can find support from dedicated educators, who teach effective strategies for educating and raising their children, as well as provide resources for therapy and intervention for children.
Want to learn more about early childhood development and how you can help your child grow up confidently and holistically?
Visit the homepage of Carean Oh, Writers Studio to find out more.
–Carean Oh, Writers Studio, early childhood educational consultant