Investing in Your Child’s Foundational Years

Today, the vital need to support children’s development during their early years is widely recognized, however, while progress is being made in some areas, children’s early learning is too often neglected, putting millions of children at a disadvantage before they even start school.

By Constance Ndeleko

Browsing through the dailies, deeply mining data online, and listening to the different podcasts has been an acquired habit lately, that has led me to question my understanding of financial breakthrough, savings, and investing especially as a young adult.

While trying to catch up with my reads, I came across this interesting conversation that caught my full attention on someone’s Instagram stories. Not to shy away from the fact that I have attained the age where I am critically trying to streamline my finances to balance the checks but I cannot stop fathoming about these relevant appealing topics on Child Investment. Well here are a few thoughts;

  • How are you investing in your children?
  • What are your priorities when investing in your children?
  • When should you start investing in your children?
  • How much should you be investing in them?

Well, the desired topic of discussion was education. I understand how expansive this topic can get and how expensive education is in Kenya especially if you intend to take your child to a private school which leads me to question the quality over quantity of education in public schools. Nonetheless, I have no intentions of negatively speaking on the educations offered in public institutions today but a general view on child education in their early years.

From the discussions, I gathered that if you can, it is important to start planning for your child’s investment towards education at conception or earlier if you want your child to have the desired education you want for their foundational years.

We all want the best education for our children; however different circumstances force us not to be able to give our children what our heart desires for them. Then, how can we ensure that children have the quality of education they need to fully realize their potential and abilities even outside the classroom? What is the government doing to ensure that no child is left behind in this regard? What is the role of society in ensuring that all children are in school?

I refuse to dictate on the above as we come from different backgrounds with different abilities, thus I will focus my intentions on the importance of Early Childhood Development and how it greatly impacts the foundational years of a child’s holistic growth and development.

A child’s early years are the foundation for his or her future development, providing a strong base for lifelong learning and learning abilities, including cognitive and social development. Well-established research continues to emphasize the importance of early childhood education as an essential building block of a child’s future success.

|WALDEN UNIVERSITY|

Early childhood education is a term that refers to the period of time from a child’s birth to when they enter kindergarten. It’s a common misconception that early childhood education is only about learning basic skills. “It’s a time when children learn critical social and emotional skills and a partnership is formed between the child, their parents, and the teacher. When this is done successfully, it lays the groundwork for it to continue throughout the child’s education.”

The ECDE serves the major critical responsibility of making children well prepared for their future education. Research has shown that participating in early childhood development and education programs is associated with better adjustment to later schooling, as well as higher levels of academic achievement.

The ECD center provides a conducive learning environment for young children age 3-5 years. A research carried out by the World Bank in 1989 gives evidence that the Childs fastest growth in physical, mental, and social-emotional characteristics takes place during the age of 0-5 years.

Much of the first two years of human life are spent in the creation of a child’s first “sense of self” or the building of the first identity. This is a crucial part of children’s makeup, how they first see themselves, how they think they should function, and how they expect others to function in relation to them. For this reason, early childhood care must ensure that in addition to employing a carefully selected and trained caretaker program, the policy must emphasize links with family, home culture, and home language.

With the above information, it is critical that we ensure that children have the best quality education as it helps with their later lives. Good quality educations need to be planned for by everyone to ensure that children don’t miss out on these critical moments as it is also an opportunity for understanding any potential issues that the child might be having at an early stage and try to solve them before it gets out of hand.

Additionally, it is paramount for us all to invest in our children’s education as well as their growth and development. They truly need us to take the responsibility of of building them a strong background that will help with their own intellectual ability.

All the members of society have a big role in early childhood education. Starting from the parent back at home to the law-making body all need to work hand in hand together in bringing up these young children in a good moral and organized manner. More policies should be created in favor of ECD and also funds to be allocated to these centers providing ECD so as to improve the facilities that are available with the modern technology and requirements. 

Early childhood development supports children’s care and development from birth to five years old. Quality childcare — whether in the home or in an affordable care center — is essential for the health, safety, and cognitive development of the youngest children.

A child’s most important steps happen before they set foot in a primary school. Early childhood interventions should support four key developmental domains — physical, cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional development.

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