Importance of Early childhood
We all learn throughout our lives; it starts from the day we are born. It is now a well-accepted fact that early years of childhood are considered most important for learning. Childhood is an important aspect in every person’s life as it develops their personality and it lays down the foundation for future. This is the time when children learn not only by reading or watching but by committing mistakes.
Often people use the term “Early Childhood”, and to some it means the years from birth to before going to schoo; to others it means the first eight years; while to others it means the first three years of a child’s life.
What affects the learning of a child?
As it is, everyone takes his/her time to get accustomed to the environment around him/her, so it is with children. Similarly, children take their time to get used to the environment around them. They do not know the difference between what is right and what is wrong, they learn by committing the acts and seeing people’s reaction to it.
A child’s early experiences deeply affect their social, emotional, physical, health and cognitive development. And we know that if we get it right in the early childhood years then we can see our children thrive throughout school and after.
A child’s learning is affected by:
- Parenting styles and teachings, influences within the family, safety and crime in the neighborhood, friends.
- Family culture and beliefs, values and views on how a child should be treated, feeling of trust, and comfort level with parents and in general.
- Different perception on child’s education.
- Any temperamental issues within the family, behavior among family members.
- Teaching in the school, sharing with friends, eating habits within the family and around.
- Questions asked but not answered ignorance and many more.
When we talk about the importance of early childhood we should not restrict ourselves to the category of families who have at least one guardian/parent to look after the child at home but we should keep in mind those families too where both parents and the child is working, but it often gets ignored and needs to be discussed.
Although many NGO’s are doing their part, several initiatives are taken by the Indian Government to fill this gap and improve the educational and health outcomes for the underprivileged children. An initiative called (ICDS) Integrated Child Development Scheme run under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child Development that focuses on the early childhood development and education by running Anganwadi across the country.
This programme was launched in 1975 and it is among the world’s largest and most unique programmes for early childhood development in India.
Work in Progress….
Such programmes will definitely improve the early childhood to a great extent extent and will help to overcome challenges like childhood exploitation, child labour and economic backwardness. It is evident that the benefits of early childhood are what a child crucially needs irrespective of the child’s caste, creed or religion, and we should help them to see the world with unfiltered eyes.