Numerous research studies confirm that early years of life are critical for the intellectual and emotional development of a child. The nature and quality of care a child receives play a significant role in how he/she develops. Appropriate nurturing, care and stimulation are all essential elements in promoting the child’s fundamental ability and disposition to thrive. The more interesting and stimulating an environment, the stronger are the possibilities for enhanced learning in the future as the child gets to know himself and his own capabilities.
These early developments can establish patterns for learning and promote the child’s fundamental ability and disposition to be a successful learner. The emotional and physical health, social skills and cognitive-linguistic capabilities that emerge in the early years are all important prerequisites for success in school and later in the workplace and community. Research has proved that a child’s brain grows to 90% of the full size by the age of 5 yrs. So these years are very crucial in the life of a child.
Whatever inputs he/she is receiving will have an impact on the overall development of his personality. Those children who receive high quality early childhood education are much better than their peers who did not. This potentiates the role of preschool in our society. The key stage outcomes of preschool education emphasize the need for children to build up confidence and social skills and be equipped with the sensory knowledge, skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. What is expected from a child after completing preschool education should not be measured in terms of knowing their ABCD and 1234 but amounts to a wide range of skills. She/ he rather than mugging up the series of information, should be able to relate to others, be curious, explore, be able to listen and speak with understanding, be willing to share and take turns with others, and be comfortable and happy with their own self.
After completing preschool, the child must have developed physical coordination and healthy habits to participate in and enjoy a variety of art experiences.
Dr Sheema Shah
(Dr Sheema Shah has been working in the field of preschool education for the last 10 years)