Early childhood education

A test written by a four-year-old child in 1972, in the former Soviet Union. The lines are not ideal, but the teacher (all red writing) gave the best grade (5) anyway.
"Gift" developed by Friedrich Froebel
MaGeography in Montessori Early Childhood at QAIS

Early childhood education (ECE), also known as nursery education, is a branch of education theory that relates to the teaching of children (formally and informally) from birth up to the age of eight.[1] Traditionally, this is up to the equivalent of third grade.[2] ECE is described as an important period in child development.

ECE emerged as a field of study during the Enlightenment, particularly in European countries with high literacy rates.[3] It continued to grow through the nineteenth century as universal primary education became a norm in the Western world. In recent years, early childhood education[4] has become a prevalent public policy issue, as funding for preschool and pre-K is debated by municipal, state, and federal lawmakers.[5][6][7] Governing entities are also debating the central focus of early childhood education with debate on developmental appropriate play versus strong academic preparation curriculum in reading, writing, and math.[8] The global priority placed on early childhood education is underscored with targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4. As of 2023, however, "only around 4 in 10 children aged 3 and 4 attend early childhood education" around the world.[9] Furthermore, levels of participation vary widely by region with, "around 2 in 3 children in Latin American and the Caribbean attending ECE compared to just under half of children in South Asia and only 1 in 4 in sub-Saharan Africa".[9]

ECE is also a professional designation earned through a post-secondary education program. For example, in Ontario, Canada, the designations ECE (Early Childhood Educator) and RECE (Registered Early Childhood Educator) may only be used by registered members of the College of Early Childhood Educators, which is made up of accredited child care professionals who are held accountable to the College's standards of practice.[10]

Research shows that early-childhood education has substantial positive short- and long-term effects on the children who attend such education, and that the costs are dwarfed by societal gains of the education programs.[11][12][13][14][15]

  1. ^ "National Association for the Education of Young Children". About Us. Archived from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Best Accredited Online Early Childhood Education Degrees of 2018". Teacher Certification Degrees. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  3. ^ Eddy, Matthew Daniel (2016). "The Child Writer: Graphic Literacy and the Scottish Educational System, 1700–1820" (PDF). History of Education. 46 (6): 695–718. doi:10.1080/0046760X.2016.1197971. S2CID 151785513. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 July 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Early childhood education - Asha Maa Foundation". 19 July 2021. Archived from the original on 19 July 2021. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Early Learning from Birth through Third Grade". National Governor's Association. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Why Cities Are Making Preschool Education Available to All Children". Archived from the original on 7 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Pre-K Funding from State and Federal Sources". 25 April 2014. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  8. ^ Ofsted (30 November 2017). "Bold Beginnings" (PDF). gov.uk. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Early childhood education". UNICEF. June 2023.
  10. ^ "College of Early Childhood Educators". College of Early Childhood Educators. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  11. ^ García, Jorge Luis; Heckman, James J.; Ronda, Victor (2023). "The Lasting Effects of Early-Childhood Education on Promoting the Skills and Social Mobility of Disadvantaged African Americans and Their Children". Journal of Political Economy. 131 (6): 1477–1506. doi:10.1086/722936. ISSN 0022-3808. S2CID 236169447.
  12. ^ Cite error: The named reference :5 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  13. ^ García, Jorge Luis; Heckman, James J. (2023). "Parenting Promotes Social Mobility Within and Across Generations". Annual Review of Economics. 15 (1). doi:10.1146/annurev-economics-021423-031905. hdl:10419/267409. ISSN 1941-1383.
  14. ^ De Haan, Monique; Leuven, Edwin (2020). "Head Start and the Distribution of Long-Term Education and Labor Market Outcomes". Journal of Labor Economics. 38 (3): 727–765. doi:10.1086/706090. hdl:10852/74324. ISSN 0734-306X. S2CID 44049841.
  15. ^ Rossin-Slater, Maya; Wüst, Miriam (2020). "What Is the Added Value of Preschool for Poor Children? Long-Term and Intergenerational Impacts and Interactions with an Infant Health Intervention". American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 12 (3): 255–286. doi:10.1257/app.20180698. ISSN 1945-7782.

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