Why Is Early Childhood Education Important?

When you think of preschool, you probably think of toys, toddler friendships, and plenty of nap time. However, preschool isn’t all play. It's also a great way to help your kids get ready for elementary school and beyond.

Here’s what you should know about early childhood education programs, and why they can be so helpful for your kids.

What is Early Childhood Education (ECE)?

Early childhood education (ECE), sometimes called “nursery school” or “preschool,” is a school option for young children before kindergarten. Early childhood education programs take students between 3 to 5 years of age. However, this can depend on the program. 

Activities and schedules also depend on the program. In general, an early childhood education program will likely include activities like: 

  • Learning numbers and letters
  • Drawing, painting, and other arts and crafts
  • Playtime with toys, puzzles, and games
  • Reading books
  • Dancing and singing
  • Putting on plays
  • Outdoor playtime
  • Building activities

Why Early Education is Important

Kids learn a lot during their early childhood years because their brains are growing very fast. They're learning how to talk and communicate with others. They’re also learning other things like colors, shapes, and ideas. Plus, they’re figuring out how to make friends and the differences between “right” and wrong.” In fact, they’re learning so much during this age that scientists believe that about 90% of kids' brain development happens before they turn 6!

Because they are learning so fast, early childhood education is a great way to help them get ready for elementary school. In early childhood education programs, your kids will learn by playing, which is how many kids learn best. It’s also good for their social skills since they will be exposed to many different people and children outside of their own families. Finally, they’ll get more familiar with different situations outside of their own home, which can help them get better prepared for the years ahead.

Benefits of Early Childhood Education 

A Head Start on Basic School Skills

Early childhood education can help kids get a head start on all of the basic skills that they’ll need later for school. 

Kids who are enrolled in early child care as toddlers are usually better prepared for their schoolwork. According to the National Education Association, kids who participate in early childhood education programs are less likely to repeat a grade later. They’re even more likely to graduate from high school. They even often end up earning more money as adults!

In ECE, kids get a head start on their ABCs and 123s. In addition, they're also learning other important skills they’ll need. For example, they learn how to focus and pay attention in a classroom. Plus, many of the things they do in preschool are really fun, which can help make them more excited to learn for the rest of their life.

Early childhood education can be especially good for kids from lower-income families. For example, a study found that kids from low-income families who did an early childhood education program had stronger academic skills than those who did not participate in any ECE programs.

Social skills

It’s not just about academics, either. Because they’re surrounded by so many different people, kids can also learn important social skills from their ECE program before kindergarten begins. 

During their time in preschool, your kids starts developing important social skills that they’ll use for the rest of their life. For example, they'll learn how to express their feelings and talk to other people. They’re also learning other things like self-confidence, working with a team, and respect. All of these skills can help them become more well-rounded later.  

By signing your child up for an early childhood education program, you can give them the chance to develop all of these important life skills that they’ll learn through activity and play, all while being in a safe environment!

Final Thoughts

Enrolling your children in early childhood education programs does so much more than just giving them another place to play outside of their house. It’s their very first baby steps into the “real world,” during a time when their brains are growing so quickly and they’re learning so much. Getting your kids into a preschool can make all the difference in their passion for learning and growing for years to come!