How Pre-schooling is important to Brain Development in Children?

Published on June 17, 2015

There are so many different theories on child development, on pre-schooling, on upbringing… so, what can we tell parents about pre-schooling and brain development? How does the child’s brain get affected by sending them to school at a young age? Why is it important?

Ms. Hilary Clinton says, ‘the song a father sings to his child in the morning, or a story that a mother reads to her child before bed help lay the foundation for a child’s life…’

Children’s earliest experiences determine how their brains are wired. We now know that brains are a ‘work-in-progress’ and not pre-made. Both ‘nature and nurture’ are needed for it to grow. Here is where schooling comes in. The external environment influences the behavior of the child. Development takes place through experiences – systems for thinking, feeling and communication cultivate.

Brain development is at its highest during the first 4 years of life. These are time windows, which when provided with the right stimuli helps the brain to develop. Experiences during this time can permanently rewire the brain. In simple words, if you deny a brain of information during this time, it may never develop properly ; the opportunity is gone.

Early reading, writing and mathematical skills developed during this stage can help to improve a child’s lifelong learning abilities. When the child enters the structured classroom that has colors, textures, sounds, activities and age-appropriate book; he looks forward to every activity and learns the concept of a ‘routine’. Once the child is settled in the classroom, he moves forward to developing social skills such as listening, talking nicely, apologizing, taking turns, helping one another, adapting to multi-cultures.

Although pre-schooling does not teach marketing strategies or economic theories, it helps one to develop skills that are necessary to get and keep a job. Children learn to socialize, solve problems and combat stress.

China has made such substantial investments in early childhood education that the country is on track to have more college graduates by 2030 than the total size of the US workforce !

According to the Too Small to Fail initiative in USA, the ‘poverty of vocabulary’ should be discussed with the same passion as child hunger. Children who are exposed to 30 million words by the age of 4 are more likely to easily acquire language than those facing a ’vocabulary gap’. And a vocabulary gap already evident at age 4 can influence a child’s chances to succeed at age 14,24,34 and so on.

So, we can well understand how influential and important pre-schooling is and why knowledge matters. Probably, the most important years of schooling come before kids can even read.

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