Objectives of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
The aim of Early Childhood Care and Education is to facilitate optimum development of the child’s full potential and lay the foundation for all round development and lifelong learning. While parents and home have the main responsibility of the welfare of the child, a strong partnership between the community and the ECCE centres is important for the well being of the child and in achieving the following objectives. Broad objectives of the Early Childhood Care and Education programme are to:
- Ensure each child is valued, respected, feels safe and secure and develops a positive self concept.
- Enable a sound foundation for physical and motor development of each child- as per each child’s potential.
- Imbibe good nutrition routines, health habits, hygiene practices and self help skills.
- Enable children for effective communication and foster both receptive and expressive language.
- Promote development and integration of the senses.
- Stimulate intellectual curiosity and develop conceptual understanding of the world around by providing opportunities to explore, investigate and experiment.
- Enhance development of pro-social skills, social competence and emotional well being.
- Develop sense of aesthetic appreciation and stimulate creative learning processes.
- Imbibe culturally and developmentally appropriate behaviour and core human values of respect and love for fellow human beings.
- Enable a smooth transition from home to ECCE centre to formal schooling.
- Enhance scope for overall personality development.
- Children are eager to learn, thereby enabling a smooth transition to a primary school environment.
- Children learn in their mother tongue/ first language as a prelude to and complement bilingual and multilingual education.
- Children who enter school without having mastered specific skills or little or no ECCE experiences, primary curriculum should include child-initiated as well as teacher supported activities, and should emphasize hands-on, integrated learning to boost their school readiness.
- Comprises of building readiness for reading, writing and numeracy.
- Reading readiness is developing familiarity with print material, developing vocabulary and ability to handle books.
- Writing readiness involves fine motor development, understanding directionality and finding meaning in writing.
- Number readiness includes pre-number concept, categorization, classification, sequential thinking, seriation, problem solving and reasoning (shapes, colour). Ready Schools.
- Children have access and opportunity to develop their behaviours and abilities across the domains of development Schools accept that children learn at different pace.
- Schools may be transformed to accept and accommodate different kinds of learners.
- Effective kindergarten-primary programs meet children where they are and take extra care to help make meaningful connections with each child’s home, culture, and community.
- Curriculum in kindergarten and the early grades builds on prior learning and the skills that children learn and practice are embedded in meaningful experiences.
- Ensure smooth transition from ECCE to primary school through different strategies (such as training ECCE and primary school educators together, integrated curricula and options that bridge ECCE programmes with primary schools).
- Teachers must know how to teach young children and have the resources to do so.
- Supportive parenting and stimulating home environment is one of the strongest predictors of school performance during primary years and beyond. In the ECCE programmes home based/ centre based stimulation for mother and child is imperative to bring in parental involvement, address to their beliefs, attitudes and commitment.
- Enable parents and family members to reading books, playing games, singing narrating stories and conversing with children.
- Ensure parental commitment to enroll their children at the right time for getting timely intervention.
All the dimensions are equally important and must work together to ensure the transition is smooth for the child, family and the school system.
Domains of Development
Every child is a unique individual and has skills and abilities that can be further enhanced and developed. A good early childhood care and education programme respects the different pace of development of all children and ensures that the child develops physically, socially, emotionally, morally and intellectually to their full potential. Thus, the main aim of providing quality care and education during the early years is to enable the child to develop as a holistic individual and realise his/her potential to the fullest in all the areas of development. Development of the child is classified under six main areas of development. The curriculum must address the following interrelated domains of holistic development through an integrated and play based approach which focuses on development of life skills.