Importance of developing and nurturing a child emotionally and physically is absolutely necessary. With the way a child interacts with his/her immediate surroundings that may include parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family and friends, contributes to the development of a child. It is imperative to maximise their learning experiences to enhance their future.
A child being nurtured in a sound and stable environment is able to develop better cognitive and behavioural skills as compared to a child who is brought up in an abusive or incoherent environment. The immediate environment, especially the parents, are huge contributors in developing early childhood.
Learning is an on-going process and every child starts learning right from infancy. Early childhood, namely 0 to 8 years of age, are the most crucial years of developing a child. This is the most extraordinary period of growth and development of a child that contributes to his/her future. Their conscious and unconscious learning foundations are laid down during this period. Children are constantly learning from their surroundings and hence paying attention to their education, food and nutrition, safety and protection are essential to stimulate their brains.
A major hindrance in children experience wholesome childhood is their economic backgrounds. Children from economically weaker sections of the society lack the means to access basic nutrition and protection, thus stunting their growth. Prolonged exposure to a highly stressful environment or abuse and neglect can seriously hamper a child’s growth. These early childhood experiences can prove to be an impediment in the child’s development.
The governments’ from across the world are working collectively to provide children with at least basic nutrition and access to medication to enable a fruitful early childhood.
Despite the need of the hour, many programs remain underfunded or lack execution strategies. Some of the key points to be noted include –
• Malnutrition affects nearly one-in-four children younger than five, globally.
• Poor sanitation, especially in areas stricken with poverty, undermines the growth of a child, making them forego their right to early childhood development.
• More than 300 million children under the age of five have been exposed to social violence in some form or the other.
• Poor early childhood development will also affect their income and exposure levels once they grow up.
The right intervention early in their childhood can boost development and enable them to get a good start to their life. Let us come together to enable a brighter and better future, today!