The Importance of Early Learning

The Importance of Early Learning

Authored by Infant-Toddler Center Teacher, Kyle Priestly.

Walking down the hallways of HB you may see little children going from walking to running, to stopping, to taking; curious to discover the world around them. You might even think to yourself “It must be fun working with children that little; they’re so cute.” While this is true, working with young children involves so much more than taking them outside to play, blowing bubbles or serving snacks.

In the Infant-Toddler Center (ITC), being a dedicated teacher who works with young children involves:

  • A knowledge and understanding of child development; learning actually begins at birth.
  • Collaborating with co-teachers to create an environment that encourages a child’s individual curiosity, imagination and supports their important developing skills like language, cognition, and physical development.
  • Knowing how to respond to and help them manage their “big” emotions.
  • Helping and supporting them as they develop empathy and care for others.
  • Supporting parents by helping them understand their child’s ever-changing development.

Friedrich Froebel, a pioneering German educator, believed that play is the principle means of learning in early childhood and that children construct their understanding of the world through direct experience with it.

Froebel recognized that children experience significant brain development in their first three years of life. His philosophy was based on the idea that humans are essentially creative beings that need to be given the opportunity to experience, learn and develop on their own terms and in their own timeframe. Froebel said it best when he stated, “Play is the highest form of expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.”

Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children's earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association, recognizes and supports that the early childhood years (birth through age eight) lay the foundation for children's success in school and later life.

In 1971, NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child ® with the purpose to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. It is a time, for early educators, to recommit and ensure that every child experiences a supportive environment that will promote their early learning.

So… the next time you see our youngest “Blazers” walking or running down the hall, remember you’re actually watching them, “constructing their understanding, while learning and experiencing the world around them.”


“Children are like tiny flowers: They are varied and need care,
but each is beautiful alone & glorious when seen in the community of peers.”
-Fredrich Froebel

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