24 Sep Why Is Early Childhood Education Important?
Did you know that early childhood educators instil curiosity, develop confidence and nurture a love for lifelong learning in children?
Did you also know that early childhood educators also collaborate with parents to bring about a deeper and better understanding of a child’s needs and interests?
It has been proven time and time again that when children are comfortable and trust the people around them, they learn more quickly and successfully. As such, a primary role of early childhood educators is to help young children create and forge strong bonds of relationships based on trust.
“Many studies have proven that the formative years or early childhood of a child is the most important stage that defines their future development,” shared Kenny Sim, Chief Executive of Dika College.
“By understanding Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Special Education (SE), we can focus on moulding the child to be a holistic individual rather than ‘fixing’ them later on. As educators, we are in the unique position of facilitating this journey for the children,” he added.
Sim was also keen to note that early childhood educators work closely with parents, including extended family, who are directly involved in the child’s upbringing. He opines that early childhood education can help parents, guardians and caregivers better understand young children.
“The family unit has the biggest and most direct influence in the upbringing of a child. Many times, a child will model after their parents or siblings, therefore learning parenting skills based on the understanding of early childhood will have a positive impact on the child. To effectively nurture and develop the child, family members and educators need to be partners in the child’s growth journey.”
Educator Roles: During a drum circle session, children are encouraged to take turns to stand within the circle to facilitate the activity. This builds self-confidence and nurtures social abilities. KOH CHING NGEE. Dika Alumnus, Entrepreneur and Founder of Making Rainbow Playgroup. Pic courtesy of KOH CHING NGEE
Is early childhood education a well-respected profession?
The answer is YES!
There is a universal mandate by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and here is what the organisation says about the importance of early childhood education:
“Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. ECCE has the possibility to nurture caring, capable and responsible future citizens.”
Along with strong commitment from governments and stakeholders, there are substantial efforts being put in place to consistently elevate standards and advance the profession.
Educator Roles: It’s important for children to form relationships and socialise with people other than their parents. Playing the djembe (drums) encourages communication and teamwork. KOH CHING NGEE. Dika Alumnus, Entrepreneur and Founder of Making Rainbow Playgroup. Pic courtesy of KOH CHING NGEE
Sim also made a point of the concept of community and its importance to a child. With the advancement of technology and the influence of social media, Sim explained, “Our smart devices become the face of our world and whoever is at the other end of the network becomes our community.”
“The fundamentals of early childhood comprise basic skills such as communication, socialising, listening that are nurtured intentionally by an educator or a parent. It is important therefore that children receive the care and support of the people around them, because technology is just an enabler and not a replacement of the child’s community in itself.”
Sim highlighted, “We have seen over and over again how nations that emphasise education have prospered and many have a very systematic and established education system. In the early childhood profession, we have a chance to nurture our children to be useful citizens that will bring our nation forward.”
“As an early childhood educator, you are an important and
indispensable part of a country’s nation-building efforts.”
Kenny Sim, Chief Executive, Dika College
INSPIRE TO ASPIRE: Dika College graduates are leading change in various industry sectors throughout Malaysia and across the globe. They are successful in their chosen vocation as professionals in the early childhood fields. Many pursue further education, and some are volunteers and advocates for charitable causes. Call us today +603-80706223 or visit www.dika.edu.my to find out more about this noble profession with a promising future.