According to Dr. Jessica Alvarado, academic program director for the BA in Early Childhood Development at National University, the term "early childhood education" refers to the period of time between a child's birth and the time they enter kindergarten. According to Alvarado, this is a critical period in children's lives because it is during this period that they learn how to interact with others, including peers, teachers, and parents, as well as when they begin to develop interests that will last them throughout their lives, according to Alvarado.
Alvarado, on the other hand, believes that there is a widespread misconception that early childhood education is limited to the acquisition of fundamental skills. According to her, "it's so much more than that." During this period, children learn critical social and emotional skills, as well as the formation of a partnership between the child, his or her parents, and the teacher. Successfully completing this task creates the foundation for continuing this task throughout the child's educational career."
The importance of early childhood education is becoming increasingly recognized in other countries around the world, as well. In the words of UNESCO, "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through education" is their mission. Early childhood education, according to the organization, is extremely important. Here is what they have to say:
It is more than just preparation for primary school when it comes to early childhood care and education (ECCE)." To achieve this, it is important to focus on the holistic development of a child's social emotional, cognitive, and physical needs in order to lay a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. "ECCE has the potential to develop future citizens who are caring, capable, and responsible."
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