EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Early childhood education focuses on children’s learning through play. This belief is centered on the “power of play”. Play meets the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social needs of children. Depending on the child’s interests, this will influence the development of skills in different areas of play.

It is believed that children learn more efficiently and gain more knowledge through play-based activities such as dramatic play, art and social games. The theory of play stems from children’s natural curiosity and imagination, allowing topic lessons to occur.

Key issues of play are having a healthy and safe environment, having plenty of space, correct supervision, quality of care/environment, the attitudes of the practitioner and their cultural awareness.

A preschool is an educational establishment offering early childhood education to children between the ages of one to six prior to the commencement of compulsory education at primary school.

The Early Learning Goals cover the main areas of education without being subject driven. These areas include:

 

  • Personal, social, economic and emotional development
  • Communication – talking and listening
  • Creative and aesthetic development
  • Mathematical awareness
  • Physical development and health
  • Play
  • Teamwork
  • Self-help skills
  • Social skills
  • Scientific thinking
  • Literacy

 

The approach aims to involve children in acquiring competence via learning through discovery.

 

Physical:

how well a child is developing physically, including eyesight and motor skills

 

Social:

interactions with others. Social development involves the children understanding their responsibilities and rights as members of families and communities (local, national and global), the ability to relate and work with others.

 

Emotional:

creating emotional connections and developing self-confidence. “Emotions are more than just physical mechanisms to tell others how we are feeling. They are behaviors that direct our thinking and subsequent actions in response to events.” Emotional connections develop when people relate to each other and share feelings.

 

Language:

how well a child communicates, including how they present their feelings and emotions.

 

Cognitive skills:

this is how children organise information. These skills include problem solving, creativity, imagination and memory. These skills are part of the brains impact to help children understand the world.