Early childhood education

From Academic Kids

"Early childhood education" covers the education of a child from the period from birth to nine years of age.


Child development

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There are different developmental domains of children:

1. Physical Development - concerns physical growth and the development of both gross and fine motor control of the body.

2. Perception and Sensory Development - how one functions using the senses and the ability to process the information gained.

3. Communication and Language Development - using visual and sound signals, especially in the acquisition of language, also in the exchange of thoughts and feelings.

4.Cognitive Development - concerns how the individual thinks and responds

5. Emotional Development - concerns children's increasing awareness and control of their feelings

6. Social Development - concerns the child's identity, their relationship with others, and understanding their place within a social environment

Characteristics of a successful teacher

  • Has a positive attitude.
  • Relates easily and spontaneously to others.
  • Is a patient, confident, and caring individual.
  • Is a positive, happy individual.
  • Has knowledge in curriculum, child growth and development, and child guidance.
  • Is energetic and evolves physical education/movement in child's learning.
  • Provides interesting materials.
  • Is flexible and adapts well to the requirements of others.
  • Is compassionate, accepting children's strong emotions such as anger, love and wonder.
  • A good teacher also understands children's different cultural backgrounds and takes pride in adding those different cultures within the curriculum.
  • Works well and incorporates the child's family by getting to know the family.
  • A good teacher will be able to provide strength-based resources to families in need.
  • Follows the child's lead.
  • Allows the child to freely express themselves.
  • Works well with and is a team player with other educators, in order to better programs, gain experience through others and brainstorm ideas, all in order to be a better teacher.
  • Easily adapts to all his/her students.
  • Encourages self esteem in their students.
  • Is able to think like a child.
  • Is creative.
  • Is able to explore and experiment on ideas.
  • Understands that learning is exploring your options
  • Knows that patience is a virtue
  • Allows room for change, and never makes assumptions on any child
  • Looks at his/her students in the eyes when they speak and understands the importance of body language when giving someone the time to speak, etc.
  • Has a passion for their job
  • Believes in the potential of every child
  • Is constantly attending workshops and taking courses to better understand child development
  • models life-long learning

Job possibilities for Educators in the field of ECE

  • Aide in the public school system
  • Author of children's books
  • Child care teachers
  • Children's art instructor
  • Children's librarian
  • Director of preschool or Head Start center
  • Family child care providers
  • Parenting Coach
  • Preschool teacher
  • Children's Museum
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Science Centres/Exploration and Discovery Museums
  • Special Needs Educator
  • Child care specialist
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Childhood Education Specialist
  • Children's Television Broadcasting
  • ESL facilitator
  • Toy maker

There is so much more. Such as:

  • Early Interventionists
  • Speech Pathologists
  • Play Therapists
  • Psychometrist
  • Councillor
  • Inclusion Consultant
  • Social Worker
  • Behavioural Specialist
  • Integration Facilitator
  • Guidance Councillor

Child care centers

Facilities that offer full-day children's programs are often called child care centers. The focus of most of these centers is to provide a safe and secure environment where children can gain the education and experience they'll need to build a strong foundation for years to come. The care is designed to meet the child's basic nutrition, health, and safety needs. The curriculum emphasizes the whole child including his or her social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs. Most child care centers open early in the morning (as early as 6:00am), and remain open until six or seven o'clock in the evening. Some centers provide care for children 24 hours per day. Most recently, there was an article in the Toronto Star that stated that daycares were offering evening/over night care for children with parents that work night shifts (the world is changing).

From a Canadian Perspective

For information on Getting Ready for Child Care:

Steps to Preparing Child and Yourself (http://www.cfc-efc.ca/docs/ycca/00000346.htm)

How do you find and choose proper child care for your child?:

Finding & Choosing Childcare (http://www.cfc-efc.ca/docs/vocfc/00000797.htm)

Quality Care: A Parent's Role (http://www.cfc-efc.ca/docs/mcca/00000025.htm)


The curriculum in a Head Start program is designed to meet the needs of each child. One goal is to build self-esteem that will lead to future success in school. Staff encourage self-confidence, curiosity, and self-discipline. A variety of learning experiences are designed to meet the children's needs in the various areas of development. Staff should work as a team to implement the new government issued curriculum and teach children, based on their interest and in a fun way. Parent involvement should be the heart of the program. Preschool children must be provided with early literacy, awareness and intervention in order to perform better during the later years. This will lead the to success once they enter schools,and put them on the right track by being well prepared with the right and appropriate equipments.


The philosophy of early childhood education is child-centered education. Therefore, there is a focus on the importance of play. Play provides children with the opportunity to actively explore, manipulate, and interact with their environment. It encourages children to investigate, create, discover and motivate them to take risks and add to their understanding of the world. It challenges children to achieve new levels of understanding of events, people and the environment by interacting with concrete materials. Hands-on experiences create authentic experiences in which children begin to feel a sense of mastery over their world. This philosophy follows with Piaget's ideals that children should actively participate in their world and various environments, so as to ensure they are not 'passive' learners but 'little scientists' who are actively engaged.


  • Herr, Judy. "Working with Young Children". Tinley Park, Illinois: The Goodheart-Willcox Company, Inc,2002.

ISBN 1-56637822-2

See the article on the Reggio Emilia approach for information on a philosophy of early childhood education.

External links: From a Canadian Perspective



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