Early Childhood Education is the period from conception through eight years of age.
The key years of a child’s life are the early years, which are very critical. They determine how the child survives and thrives in life and lay the foundation for her/ his learning and development. It is during these years that children will develop the cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills that they need to succeed in life. These first experiences are primarily determined by supportive families and community care practices, proper nutrition and health care and learning opportunities for young children and families. Early education positively impacts attendance, retention, and learning of children. But due to poverty, there is a lack of early childhood education in rural areas, children
Many families in India face adversity in the form of unemployment and poverty and have fewer resources to provide for young children. Parenting practices, which are shaped by parents’ upbringing, play an essential role in child development, too.
Early child development programs have a tremendous positive impact on children’s school readiness and long-term success
Our National Picture about our Children
Children take various pathways through the first years that have consequences for what they experience and learn. There are currently two avenues for accessing early childhood education in India. The most common one consists of 1.3 million Anganwadi centres, that are run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development across the country. It falls under the name of —Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme [Government of India, 2017]. The other is the private sector, with privately managed primary schools offering pre-primary LKG (lower kindergarten) and UKG (upper kindergarten) classes, spread across rural and urban India.
Need and challenges of the underprivileged children in India
Several constitutions and policy provisions have been made by the government, for the right to free and compulsory education for children. The Right to Free and Compulsory Education act assures children their right to quality for elementary school. RTE act drives states to provide free preschool education for children above three years.
“The Ministry of Women and Child Development”–is responsible for the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme, which is a centrally sponsored and state-administered, sheltering around 38 million children through a network of about 1.4 million Anganwadi centres (a village courtyard). ICDS includes delivering an integrated package of services such as supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-up, preschool education, referral services and food & health education. Early Childhood Education [ECE] program targets the Psychological and Social Development of Children. In spite of the importance of ECE shown by the Government of India, the challenges in implementation, remain. There is an immediate need to help children develop, required school willingness through a well-designed program, to help them make a smooth transition.
The distinct routes that young children adopt in the early years, have significant consequences for what they experience and learn along the way.
Our expert team ‘EKAM’ can help us understand the importance of early childhood education for the underprivileged group. EKAM’s mission is to bring about an improvement in the Healthcare Sector and educate and facilitate life-saving medical treatment to children and families, needing support. They work with and contribute to an enhancement of service delivery within the public health system, empowering communities and guiding their decision making. Therefore, log on to www.ekamoneness.org for more information on what we can do to help as a community.