Early childhood development course in Rawalpindi
Early childhood, defined as the period from birth to eight years old, is a time of remarkable growth with brain development at its peak. During this stage, children are highly influenced by the environment and the people that surround them.Early childhood care and education - UNESCOhttps://en.unesco.org › themes › early-childhood.Early childhood education (ECE) programs include any type of educational program that serves children in the preschool years and is designed to improve later school performance. In the second half of the twentieth century, the early education system in the United States grew substantially. This trend allowed the majority of American children to have access to some form of early childhood education.
There are several types of programs that represent early childhood education. They are also known by a variety of names, including preschool and pre-kindergarten (pre-K). One of the first early childhood education initiatives in the United States was the Head Start program, started in 1965. Head Start is a federal government education initiative that has provided children from low-income families free access to early education. It targets children of low socioeconomic status or those who qualify in some at-risk category. Head Start programs are funded by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Many early childhood education programs operate under the auspices of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Under Title I, local educational agencies apply to state agencies for approval of their program, and when approved, the programs are then funded with federal money. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 encourages the use of Title I, Part A funds for preschool programs, recognizing the importance of preparing children for entering school with the language, cognitive, and early reading skills that help them meet later academic challenges. In the school year of 2001–2002 approximately 300,000 children benefiting from Title I services were enrolled in preschool.
Other early childhood education programs may be run by private for-profit companies, churches, or as part of a private school curriculum. These programs are normally tuition-based.
Since the early 1990s, many states have developed options for children from middle- and upper-income families for receiving free preschool education. Georgia introduced the first statewide universal pre-K program, offering free early childhood education to all four-year-old children. New York and Oklahoma have also developed universal pre-K programs, and Florida voters have approved a constitutional amendment for a free pre-school program to be available for all four-year-olds by 2005.
Nearly three-fourths of young children in the United States are involved in some sort of early childhood education. Some groups of children have higher rates of participation in early childhood education programs than others. Children living in low-income households are less likely to be enrolled in ECE than those children in families living above the poverty line. Black and white children enroll in these programs in higher numbers than Hispanic American children. Children with better-educated mothers are more likely than other children to participate.