The Future of Early Childhood Education

Between the ages of 0 and 8, kids go through a journey that is the foundation of their life. As you are probably already aware, early childhood education plays a significant role in a child’s emotional, social and educational development.

Early childhood introduces well-discussed challenges to parents on how to maximise their child’s development. Children from ages 0-8 will go through a journey like none other in their life; offering needs to be met for emotional, social and educational elements.

A Parenting Matters publication presents a report that parents who have demonstrated predictable mannerisms, holding a routine, whilst showing warmth and sensitivity; have helped their children be successful in developing cognitive, emotional, social and behavioural skills.

However with typically over two-thirds of parents worrying about their parenting skills, we have seen trends go beyond what a parent can offer alone.

Additional learning-led content and aids are continuingly being sought after as the educational toy market and content services continue to grow. This has only been accelerated by COVID-19 as parents have been challenged with educating their children from home.

Related to last week’s topic of ‘healthy screen time’, content engagement is specifically on the rise and this is not necessarily a bad thing to a child’s developmental growth. An educational study explored the relationship between 121 different preschooler and parent combinations and their exposure to an educational television programme and accompanying mobile application. Over a 1-month period, the children aged 3-4 years-old showed signs of further growth of the key educational lessons being taught, specifically relating to emotional development and being able to positively identify emotions such as; sadness, anger and disappointment. Key to this study was the parent-child interaction with a recent review of the study commenting “Instead of [the child] passively observing, parents can actively participate by engaging in interactive discussions about the content of educational media with their children”.

The growing trend of educational applications and content is offering a fantastic tool to engaging parents who will participate in conversations with their children. Due to this growth in ‘EdTech’ content is in abundance to help parents navigate topics; relating to key curriculum aspects like Science, Mathematics and English. All of which have proven hugely important topics; starting from reports suggesting that children who enter their first year of school with a strong vocabulary, often go on to be more talented readers than their peers. The importance of these subjects continues into the well-precedented growth of jobs relating to STEM skills, later in life.

Interactive educational content might be on the rise but another trend we want to highlight is the Power of Play. 

Mentioned above is the importance of early development of positive vocabulary; and in many reports, there is a distinctly a positive relationship between the time spent ‘pretend’ playing and the vocabulary development of a child; with this imaginative type of play going on to prove a positive impact in a child’s creativity and problem-solving skills. In fact, a research professor from Harvard Medical School, Michael Yogman, published findings of the impact of play on the developing mind of a child, stating “play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and functions [that promote the process of learning] which allow us to pursue goals and ignore distractions”.

With the power of play enhancing a child’s educational skills, play also allows a child feel safe and secure to develop emotional relationships, with caregivers and socially, which has proven necessary in an environment to thrive.

We believe these two aspects of early learning and childhood development will be key talking points in the future of education; how can businesses, schools, educators and parents alike create interactive, fun, playful learning experiences.