In our previous blog, we discussed the effects of early childhood education (ECE). While some studies are inconclusive, there seems to be no downside to enrolling your child in an ECE program; children who are enrolled show higher academic gains and learn how to act appropriately in a classroom. However, these effects are contingent upon the type of ECE program that the child is enrolled in.
Here are some important factors to consider if you want to enroll your child in an early childhood education program:
- Teachers. The teachers in an ECE program should be well-trained and have a background or degree in education. A good ECE program should have licensed teachers in order to maximize the effectiveness of academic gains. Also, ask about the teacher-to-student ratio – it should be fairly low in order to maximize student learning.
- Curriculum. While the students may be young, there should still be a set curriculum in an ECE program that teaches students educational building blocks. This curriculum should also be appropriate for the students’ ages, so there should be play-based learning in the classroom to encourage students to explore.
- Accountability and standards. A good ECE program should have academic standards in order to monitor children’s progress. These standards should be reflected in the curriculum, and the teachers should have a way to keep track of each child’s progress. Usually, observation-based performance assessment is more effective for younger students because it is more reliable.
When you’re looking for a good early childhood education program, keep these factors in mind in order to choose the most effective program for your child. Remember that parental involvement is also a key factor in academic achievement, so don’t be afraid to get involved!