little-girl-on-computer_web.jpgRecent studies examining the influence of maternal education and other child and family characteristics on the enrollment of children in early childhood education, including day cares, reveal that school-age children, even those that are under 3 years of age, when expose to a higher quality setting experienced a greater advantage than those that have not experienced such setting.

The data comes from the National Household Education Survey for a 14-year period and covers children ages 0–5 years old.

The study found that more highly educated mothers and more household incomes were all predicated on enrollment in center-based care for their children.

Interestingly, maternal employment was also more relative and non-relative care use, as compared to no non-parental care for children ages 0-5.   In other words, there is a significant link to parental employment and non-parental care/early childhood education.

Children of Asian and Hispanic ethnicities were more likely than white children to use no non-parental care and non-relative care, versus center-based care. Black children were more likely to be enrolled in center-based care, which could include Head Start, a compensatory early education program targeted to low-income children.

Based upon such factors, it is evident that early childhood education is relative to the development of our children and, ultimately, the link to employment opportunities and, thus, a functional society.

Quality early childhood education is evident for promoting social skills, emotional competence and communication requirements.  Such skills are imperative for development and interaction in the first years of the learning experiences.

In addition to these skills, advantages of practicing and sharpening skills, laying foundational concepts and fundamental elements are essential for positive teacher-child relationships.  These relationships are important in shaping children's emotional, cognitive and social development.

Pre-School, Early Childhood Education and Head Start programs are demonstrative of a brighter beginning towards social change. Such programs help children develop secure relationships with their peers, as well as with each other. Other advantages range from a child's self-esteem to developing a sense of confidence and competence in the world of rapid change.

The influence on maternal education must be reflective of affection, love and care. Early Childhood Education involves developing the cognitive, social/emotional and physical aspects of a child.

In a report through Zero to Three and The Ounce of Prevention Fund, it is noted in an article titled, “Starting Smart,” that “early intervention enhances the development of children.” The article further notes that “negative early experiences profoundly affect the development of the brain.”

Young children are like sponges, absorbing their environment through the home, school and community. When quality resources are made available, children develop and grow at a higher level.
When you think children are not absorbing, they are processing at a greater speed. The result of this affect is gradually displayed and seen within the child’s development.

So, there is need to be smart, and get smart, concerning brain development in early learners.

Kimberly Smith is a veteran early childhood teacher and child care center director.