What are the goals of early childhood education? The answer may seem simple – perhaps memorizing the alphabet, learning to count in the double digits, and identifying primary colors come to mind. However, when it comes to early childhood education, the goals – and the benefits – are much bigger than simple academic rote memorizations.
What Is the Purpose of Early Childhood Education?
The purpose of early childhood education is not only for your child to get a headstart on learning fundamental life skills, but also to instill and nurture your child’s lifelong love of learning. In addition, one of the main goals of early childhood education is an easy transition into a traditional classroom. A good Pre-K education will set your child up for success in elementary school and beyond.
Goals for Preschool Students
Some of the primary goals for early childhood education are:
- To Prepare Children for Kindergarten: Preschool is an excellent way for children to get acclimated to the climate of an elementary school classroom. In preschool, they’ll learn invaluable skills, such as sharing, being cooperative, and listening well. When it’s time for them to enter kindergarten, they’ll be ready, thanks to their preschool education!
- To Help Children Develop Positive Self-Esteem: Another goal of preschool is to help develop your child’s self-esteem, especially in regards to learning. Much of preschool is “hands-off,” meaning that your child will lead their own play and learning. This allows them to gain confidence in their independence and ability to do things and figure things out for themselves. This confidence will benefit them for the rest of their academic years.
- To Help Children Learn to Work with Others: Another important benefit and goal of preschool is for your child to learn how to effectively and appropriately work with other children and adults in positions of authority (the teachers). Preschool activities focus on working together as a team and using imaginative play to bond with their classmates. Since preschool focuses on freeplay, but is also very well-supervised, it’s an excellent environment for your child to hone their social skills and develop friendships.
- To Help Children Develop Basic Mathematical Skills & a Familiarity with Numbers: Preschool is an introduction to simple mathematics, such as counting and adding small numbers together. These exercises help build critical thinking skills and sharpen your child’s mind. Building familiarity with numbers in preschool will give your child a headstart in kindergarten and beyond.
What Are the Goals You Have for Your Child?
Are there any particular goals you have in mind for your child during their early childhood education? Are you hoping they’ll learn to count to a certain number, or memorize the alphabet, or learn to work with other children their own age? If you’re looking for guidelines on what sort of goals you should have for your child, check out our other blog piece on what preschoolers should learn. If you’re setting your own goals for them, keep in mind the SMART method of setting goals:
What Are SMART Goals in Childcare? S.M.A.R.T Goals:
You may have heard of SMART goals before. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This means that when you set a goal, it should have all of these qualities. You should have a specific goal that is well-defined and not vague; the goal should be measurable, so that you can definitely see when your child has reached it; the goal should be attainable and age-appropriate, so that you don’t set your child up for failure; the goal should be relevant, either to your child’s educational or emotional development; and the goal should be time-bound, meaning that you have a specific time period in which you want your child to achieve this goal.
Making sure that a goal fits these parameters is very helpful both in the classroom and outside of it. If you’ve got academic goals in mind for your child, keep SMART in mind.
As you can see, early childhood education is an invaluable tool that serves many purposes. Not only will your child learn a lot in a preschool classroom, they’ll also make friends and have a ton of fun. If you’re interested in scheduling a tour with Kid’s Corner or have any further questions, call (480)-267-9419 for our Mesa campus and (480)-267-9427 for our Gilbert campus.