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Preschool Education – the Vital Foundation for your Child’s Learning

There is a common perception that it is only the later years of school that are important. The earlier years are sort of important, but not so much. Why do I believe this is so? Because we allow unqualified teachers to teach children in preschools and kindergartens. And yet, preschool and kindergarten are among the most important years of a child’s development and educational experience. 

 


Why are the Preschool Years so important?


If giving a child an education is like building a house, then the preschool years are synonymous with the foundation for that house. Build a poor foundation and your house – no matter how beautiful – will crumble under the test of the elements. I believe that a lot of the learning problems that children experience in the later years of school are due to a poor foundation during their early years.

 


The first 2,000 days


The First 2,000 Days was a concept coined by Patricia Kuhl when she was studying the linguistic genius of babies. More than the development of language, the first 2,000 days are our opportunity to provide our children with the right environment that will enhance their development. It is a point highlighted over and over by other experts in early childhood education, including Maria Montessori, Glenn Doman, and Makoto Shichida.

A baby is born with 100 billion brain cells with little to no connections. Connections between the brain cells form rapidly based on a child’s experiences. Experiences that will help your child build these connections are a rich environment of stimuli – lots of face-to-face time with important people in your child’s life; the sound of your voice reading stories, singing, talking; a chance to move, wriggle, crawl, and explore everything around them; sensory stimulation like smells, textures, flavors, colors and sounds. Anything and everything you do with your baby in these first few years will be meaningful – but the opportunities must be provided…

And it must be repeated because the brain operates according to a brutal “use it or lose it” philosophy. Only the connections that are repeatedly stimulated will be deemed important and kept. Those that aren’t used enough are cut off. 

 

 

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This article originally appeared on Education Destination Malaysia. To read more about the importance of preschool education, please click here.