Odds are, you don’t remember much of your earliest years. So now that you’re a parent yourself, you might assume that early childhood education–or ECE, the catch-all term for any educational program for children up to 5 years of age–doesn’t really matter.
In fact, a number of studies over the past few years have proved that the opposite is true. High-quality early childhood education offers your child substantial benefits, both short term and decades into the future. Let’s take a look at the top ones.
Long Term Academic Success
According to a report by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, students who participate in high-quality ECE programs are less likely to fail a grade or require special education classes and more likely to graduate from high school than those who did not.
Scientists are still debating whether children who attend ECE maintain an academic advantage over children who don’t based purely on the knowledge they’ve acquired. But what is clear is that the process of learning in a high-quality ECE sets young students on a path for success.
Children who attend ECE learn how to learn. And more importantly, they fall in love with learning. As you can imagine, success in school is a good indicator of long term professional achievement as well.
Healthy Physical Development
The human brain develops and changes significantly during childhood. And as this research paper published by the CDC shows, a child’s experiences in the first 8 years of life can have a long term effect on future health and success.
By developing new skills earlier, a child develops the neurological capability to learn more complex skills over time. Positive early childhood experiences are also correlated to better physical and emotional health.
Improved Social Skills
Perhaps the greatest benefit of high-quality ECE is increased social skills. By exposing your child to peers outside of your family unit, you allow your child to form friendships and practice critical skills like patience, sharing, cooperation, and emotional regulation.
These skills allow your child to more effectively learn in a classroom setting once formal education begins. And just as importantly, having friends increases your child’s sense of general well-being–and positive associations with schooling.
The social skills that ECE gives your child fuels his or her long term academic success and general physical development.
Not All Early Education Programs Are Created Equal
As you might have noticed, we said that the above benefits come from high-quality early childhood education programs. Unfortunately, not all ECE programs are of the same caliber.
The best ECE program for your child depends on a number of factors, including where you live and your child’s specific needs. However, Montessori Early Childhood Education can be beneficial for all children.
Unlike other early childhood programs, Montessori empowers each child to shape his or her own learning process. Through intentional play, young students develop the intellectual and social skills to foster a lifelong love of learning.
As your child grows up, his or her detailed memories of ECE will fade. But if you put your child in the right program, the positive impact will be clear for years to come.