Importance of early childhood care and education
According to Polish-Swiss psychologist, Alice Miller (most famous for her work on parental child abuse),” All absurd behaviour has its roots in early childhood”.
Early childhood refers to early years of life to 6 years of age. According to researchers, 90% of the brain development takes place at the age of 6 . The brain develops rapidly during this time. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the child is given quality early childhood care and care. Any kind of deprivation may have adverse impact on the development of children (emotional, psychological etc.). Early childhood care includes- (a) providing love and affection. (b) Ensuring healthy, hygienic and protective environment. While, education includes acquirement of- (a) Skills. (b) Attitudes. (c) Values. (d) Lessons through exploration, experimentation, observation etc. Keeping the above statements and facts in mind, it is very important to provide early stimulating inputs with the help of seeing, touching, listening, observing. Children who are neglected and deprived of emotional care and support suffer from shame, guilt, low self-esteem and a constant need for validation. Studies show that long-term consequences range from high-risk behavior to even chronic illnesses . Lack of love and support can give birth to insecure, troubled, narcissistic and anxious individuals.
Providing quality education is yet another significant of all round childhood development. Education is the tool that helps children steer their way around the pitfalls of adulthood. Early childhood education cannot be undermined and it is important to provide a strong base for lifelong learning abilities which include cognitive and social. Early education prepares children for success in school and life. Recent studies have shown that the investment in early education—particularly among disadvantaged children—improves not only cognitive abilities, but also critical behavioral traits like sociability, motivation and self-esteem. Education can also directly linked with law and being a good citizen. For example, a 2003 bureau of justice studies report found that, 41% of incarcerated people only had high school education or less .
Hence, it is of prime importance to accord necessary importance to early childhood education and care for development in an integrated, holistic and healthy manner while also ensuring equal access to every child from every strata of the society.
Article By: Kesa Haider