The importance of early childhood education

the importance of early childhood education, toddler drawing.


Early childhood education gives children important opportunities to learn and develop. Early Childhood Education allows your child to socialise, gain independence and learn new habits.

NSW and Victoria are investing into early childhood education to provide a free year of preschool for all families. The importance of early childhood education in supporting the transition to primary school benefits many families.

The importance of early childhood education

The importance of early childhood education is being recognised globally.

“Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.”

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Why is early childhood education important?

Early childhood education enhances cognitive abilities

A child’s cognitive development is their ability to think, explore and solve problems.

Experiences such as learning to hold a pencil, sharing, and taking turns help your child’s developmental skills and build a strong foundation.

the importance of early childhood education. playing dress up at preschool.
Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

At preschool, your child will learn a lot through playing, creating and experimenting.

Playing helps your child develop skills such as:

  • Self-esteem and confidence

  • Problem-solving

  • Increases their vocabulary

  • Increases their ability to understand concepts such as ‘bigger’ vs ‘taller’

  • Sharing and collaboration

  • Allows for more independence

  • Planning and thinking ahead

  • Negotiation

  • Understanding the concept of time

Research also revealed early childhood education also assists with ‘pre-literacy’ and ‘pre-math’ skills like sorting, counting and recognising patterns.

Early childhood education builds social and emotional skills

Children begin learning how to experience, manage and release emotions early from life.

Research shows children who develop strong emotional skills early in life manage their everyday social interactions as an adult better.

A pioneering UNICEF program revealed that play, exercises and storytelling in early childhood education allowed children to:

  • Better express their feelings;

  • Get along better;

  • Have empathy for others; and

  • Feel happier.

The emotional skills your child learns in preschool allows them to build strong, positive relationships.

Again, play and activities such as ball games are a simple way for young children to build relationships.

Examples your child is gaining emotional development from early childhood education includes:
  • Showing affection for others (this may include their friends or teacher)

  • Forming healthy friendships

  • Being aware of their own feelings or other’s feelings (this could be done through words including “I’m sad” or “is mummy sad?”)

  • Expressing a positive self-image or being proud of accomplishments

  • Learning from errors

Early childhood education helps your child build emotional resilience and teaches your child how to self-regulate.

Early childhood education gets children ready for school

Early childhood education helps adjust children who are starting kindergarten or ‘prep school’. Research demonstrates children who attended preschool are able to concentrate and cooperate better.

Enrolment in the Yarra Valley Grammar Early Learning Centre makes for a seamless transition to primary school. The development of school readiness skills begins from the time of commencement, building a strong foundation for learning. Purpose built facilities and an elite on campus bush program provide the children with engaging experiences and teachers who make it a priority to learn about each child and to cater for their individual needs and education.

Mrs Nicky Callow, Director of ELC Yarra Valley Grammar

Children also experience a consistent structure and routine, like at school in early childhood education.

Many independent schools also have an ‘Early Learning Centre’ or Preschool on premises to ensure a smooth transition to school.

At Alphington Grammar School our Early Learning Centre teachers focus on building strong foundations and learning opportunities for all children using self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments.

Ms Danielle Munro, ELC Leader at Alphington Grammar School

At Alphington Grammar School, the children also undergo language acquisition in the early years.

“Our Greek Immersion Program has recently been recognised by the Department of Education as an example of “best practice” from a service provider in language learning. The program creates an immersive and engaging learning environment by encouraging the children to communicate in Greek while undertaking their daily tasks and activities. We believe that naturalistic language acquisition in the Early Years is the most effective type of language learning, and it is also an essential component of the transition into our language programs in the Primary School.”


Alphington Grammar School Early Learning Centre: Greek from FKA Children’s Services on Vimeo.

Early childhood education leads to a successful future

Attending early childhood education has shown successful outcomes in adulthood.

Children who partook in early childhood education were more likely to reach a higher level of education by age 35. Kids who underwent the further years of school were more likely to achieve a post-secondary degree level qualification.

The emotional intelligence learnt in primary school also can deliver long-term benefits that extend into adulthood.

Choosing a school for your child can be difficult, if you wish to receive further information please see Choosing a School NSW 37 or Choosing a School VIC 34.

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