Early childhood education is a concept that has been applied very effectively to children below the usual school age. It is based on the belief that children will learn through play, which is why the basics are integrated into play and taught to the children. The developer, Jean Piaget, believed those young children and even older ones learn more efficiently effectively through fun and play. Several activities are especially effective such as art, social games and dramatic play. These are supposed to awaken the interest and curiosity of the child and invoke the tendency for make believe and social thinking.
Teachers who are educated and trained in early childhood education handle classes in preschool, which includes nursery and kindergarten classes. Children who attend these classes are usually around the ages of three to six years old. Parents are encouraged to be active teachers for their kids as well since they are considered to the first ones to teach while they are still at home. For the most part, some daycare centers recognize the need to integrate the basic lessons to the kids that they care for during the duration of their stay. Such is the importance of educational toys and an educational background for the caregiver. Teachers are taught, educated and trained to recognize the various ways and techniques that will capture the interest and curiosity of a child in order for him or her to want to learn more about the different toys and tools that are utilized. In many universities and schools, this course may reach up to the standard four year course for those teachers but in some, early childhood education may just take a couple of years to learn. Since this is a specialized course, administrators of schools that offer this to young children prefer their teachers to have a full educational background on preschool or elementary as well as have the requisite additional course.
The reality of it is that most of the toys and tools used for early childhood education can be common things that can be seen in the house or replicas of these. This actually encourages the kids to view things in the house in a different way as well as to make them familiar with these things and their uses in everyday life. Make believe and the use of their active imagination is highly encouraged in order for kids to be able to think out of the box and expand their minds and imaginations. Although there is no formal education for this course, some schools and daycare centers integrate formal lessons with play in order to give their children a leg up before they enter nursery or kindergarten. Parents are encouraged to make learning as much fun as they can without the pressure of formal teaching.
This is part of the background for early childhood education. It has become a trend for daycare centers and other places that take care of younger children to integrate basic lessons in their playtime and other activities in order to help kids learn early on.