Early Childhood Care and Development(ECCD) can be defined as the holistic development of children including physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development from conception to age six.
Children’s early experiences – the bonds they form with their parents and their first learning experiences – deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become. That is why understanding the need to invest in very young children is so important, so as to maximize their future well-being. Early Childhood education(ECE) promotes brain development and has positive long-term economic benefits.
ECCD basically focuses on goals of 4 major domains of development
1) Intellectual Development
The research shows the most rapid brain changes and developments happen in the first five years of life. ECCD focuses on good intellectual development of children.
2) Physical Development
Both physical & fine and gross motor skills are covered in ECCD. This covers basic physical skills like balance, coordination, body awareness, and motor planning. But physical development also includes fine motor skills and overall muscle control.
3) Emotional Development
Our emotional well-being is central to who we are and how we approach the world. Preschool and early childhood education helps your child get a solid emotional base that will serve them well for the rest of their life. Main emotional goals include helping your child get a sense of self-respect, teaching them how to adjust to new situations, and building a willingness to try new activities
4) Social Development
We spend our lives with people in our family, community, and workplace, not to mention school. Early childhood educators concentrate on goals like getting along well with others students, getting along with adults, learning how to respect others, and thriving in an educational setting.
Importance of ECCD
Studies suggest that quality early childhood education preschool offers a range of benefits to children, as well as to their families and their communities.
**Improved social skills: Children learn to engage better with other children and adults. The preschool environment allows children to acquire vital skills that allow them to listen to others and express their own ideas, make friends, share, cooperate. **Better performance in grade school: Children who receive early education are known to have a reduced need for special education instruction in elementary school and beyond. Quality preschool programs help to build a strong foundation for the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and social development that prepare them for a lifetime.
**Improved attention spans: Children are inclined to be curious and interested in discovering new things. Quality early childhood programs maximize opportunities for the discovery of new experiences, new environments, and new friends, while maintaining a balance with the ability to listen, participate in group tasks, follow directions, and work independently, all of which develop the vital life skill of concentration.
**Enthusiasm for lifelong learning: Children who receive quality early childhood education are reportedly more confident and curious, which causes them to perform better in grade school.
Moreover, studies have shown that early childhood education preschool programs increase the likelihood of children graduating from high school with fewer behavioural issues, attending college, and becoming responsible young adults.