The changes in society and families are now happening at a faster rate than ever before. No part of our lives remains unaffected because of this and early childhood education is no exception too. Being aware of the trends in this field will allow those involved in it to stay that one important step ahead of their contemporaries. Here are a few of the fastest growing trends in early childhood education today.
- Parents are now looking for full-day, full-year preschool options for their kids. Among the major factors influencing the growth in demand for this service is that parents, especially working parents, need a year round fixed routine for their kids. They do not have the time or resources to find other care and arrangement options for part of the day or for when the preschool is on vacation. In addition to this, many parents also fee that full-day, full-year preschool will enhance their children educational foundation and give them a head start when they begin formal schooling. All parents want their children to do well academically, and this is one way that they feel is effective and which suits their lifestyles.
- The use of technology is rapidly increasing. Many early childhood education programs are technology driven to help children improve their literary and cognitive skills
- The use of testing to evaluate performance and achievement is being hotly debated. On one side it is felt that only by this kind of evaluation can a child’s specific education needs be assessed. On the other hand, many feel that this kind of testing puts unfair and unwanted stress on the children and the results of this kind of stressful testing are not accurate. In the future, the matter will be decided one way or the other and either testing as we know it today will stop or it will become even more formal an all pervasive.
- The need for increased readiness for formal school learning is becoming an important issue. The trends of providing families with education on how to help the children academically and on children’s cognitive development are growing. Parents will become more involved in the education of their children. This does not mean that they will become part of the preschool routine but that they will be provided with the tools needs to play a more effective role in supporting the efforts of teachers.
- Preschool learning has traditionally been based on the pillars of cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. There is now a feeling that the pillar of spiritual development must be added to improve the quality of moral education and character development.
- Collaborative services are growing in importance. This means that schools are now working with professionals from other agencies and disciplines to avoid negating each other’s efforts or duplication of work. For example, schools are now working with social workers to help families and children meet their counseling, nutrition, clothing and other support needs.
- Modern research on cognitive development and abilities reveals that literacy plays a hugely important role in improving both school and life success. More and more programs are now being developed with the specific aim of helping young children improve their reading skills.
There are many more trends that are gaining ground and predicting what will happen in the future is almost impossible. Perhaps that is what makes early childhood education such a challenging and simultaneously rewarding profession.