What is Early Childhood Education?
Early childhood education is a used in describing any type of educational program that serves children in their preschool years, before they are ready to enter kindergarten. ECE or Early childhood education consists of a number of activities and experiences designed to aid the development of pre-schoolers before they enter elementary school. How and where early childhood education is provided can be very different from one place to another, or even one program, to the next. Early childhood education programs are designed for three-, four-, or five-year olds, and they may be provided in childcare, day-care, nursery school, preschool, or pre-kindergarten school.
While the first two years of a child’s life is spent in the creation of a child’s first “sense of self”, most children are able to differentiate between themselves and others by their second year. This differentiation is crucial to the child’s ability to determine how they should function in relation to other people. Parents are the child’s first teacher and therefore an integral part of the early learning process.
Early childhood occurs during early childhood years 0–2 years of age, that can be influential to future education. With proper guidance and exploration children begin to become more comfortable with their environment, if they have that steady relationship to guide them. Parents who are consistent with response times, and emotions will properly make this attachment early on. If this attachment is not made, there can be negative effects on the child in their future relationships and independence. There are way and means that parents need to use to establish this relationships, which will allow the children to be more comfortable exploring their environment
What is the Importance of Early Childhood Education?
Early childhood is a crucial stage of life in terms of a child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Growth of mental and physical abilities progress at an astounding rate and a very high proportion of learning takes place from birth to age 6. It is a time when children particularly need high quality personal care and learning experiences. Education begins from the moment the child is brought home from the hospital and continues on when the child starts to attend playgroups and kindergartens. The learning capabilities of humans continue for the rest of their lives but not at the intensity that is demonstrated in the preschool years. With this in mind, babies and toddlers need positive early learning experiences to help their intellectual, social and emotional development and this lays the foundation for later school success.
During the first 3 years, parents will be the main influencer in the child’s learning experience and education. What parents do and expose their children to have a vast impact on the development of the child. Parents sometimes forget that an interested parent can have a tremendous impact on a child’s education at any age. If the parents choose to participate in a Mothers and Toddlers group or child-care arrangements, including family babysitting or centre-based child care, these all have the potential to provide high-quality, individualized, responsive, and stimulating experiences that will influence the child’s learning experience. With this in mind, a child in a negative environment could also result in negative effects as well. This fact makes it essential that the environment that the child is placed in during these early years be as positive and intellectually stimulating as possible. Very strong relationships are imbedded in everyday routines that familiar caregivers provide. It is the primary caregiver that a child learns to trust and looks to for security and care.
Early Childhood Education – A Profession
A career in education and early childhood development can be stimulating, satisfying and rewarding, and provides the opportunity to influence and shape many lives. There are many different early childhood professions but they all have one thing in common – the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of children. Whether it is a hands-on role as an educator working in a kindergarten, or day care service; a health role such as a maternal and child health nurse; or a managerial role running a service, you’ll go home each day knowing that your work is supporting and enriching the lives of children and their families.
Early childhood is a growth sector. Qualified, committed early childhood professionals are in demand. Your training and education will be rewarded with a satisfying positions and you can take your qualification anywhere leading to many roles having opportunities for promotion and the chance to take on leadership positions.
Do you love working with children, caring for infants, nanny work, travelling, teaching children, practical learning and developing potential in others?
There are many excellent Early Childhood Education programmes just for you! A range of qualifications offered in many overseas countries through various Universities, Colleges or Polytechnics which will provide you the knowledge and training on your journey to meaningful employment.
What does an Early Childhood Educator do?
- Assesses children’s developmental needs and stages in all developmental domains;
- Designs curriculum to address children’s identified needs, stages of development and interests;
- Plans programs and environments for play and activities that help children make developmental progress;
- Maintains healthy emotional and social learning contexts for children; and
- Reports to parents and supervisors on children’s developmental progress within healthy, safe, nurturing and challenging play environments.
Study Early Childhood Education in New Zealand
- AUT – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching)
- Bay of Plenty – Bachelor of Teaching (BTchg) – Early Childhood
- Institute of Cantebury (ARA/CPIT) – Certificate in Early Childhood Studies
- ICL Business School – National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care Level 5 (ECE)
- Manukau Institute of Technology – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching) (Level 7)
- Massey University – Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
- New Zealand Career College – Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Level 5)
- NZMA – Diploma in Early Childhood Education (Level 5)
- Otago University – Bachelor of Education Studies (BEdSt) – Early Childhood Education
- Unitec – Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
- Universal College of Learning – Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
- Waiariki institute of Technology – Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
- Whitireia institute of Technology – Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
- Waikato institute of Technology – Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
Study Early Childhood Education in Canada
- Capilano University – Bachelor of Early Childhood Care & Education
- George Brown College – Early Childhood Management Certificate (Post Diploma)
- Georgian College – Diploma in Early Childhood Education
- Humber College – Diploma in Early Childhood Education
- Lambton College – Early Childhood Educators
- Selkirk College – Early Childhood Care and Education Worker Certificate
- Seneca College – Diploma in Early Childhood Education
- Sheridan College – Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership
- Lawrence College – Diploma in Early Childhood Education
Study Early Childhood Education in Australia
- Charles Sturt University – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary)
- Flinders University – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
- Queensland University of Technology – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
- Southern Cross University – Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)