Stages of Brain Development during Early childhood:
Identifying the optimal conditions for learning:
As per the ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education), the best time for children to learn is during the period when the necessary brain cells are created in the relevant area of the brain and they are hungry to be programmed with new connections.
Abstract from National Education Policy 2020:
Currently, children in the age group of 3-6 are not covered in the 10+2 structure as Class 1 begins at age 6. In the new 5+3+3+4 structure, a strong base of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) from age 3 is also included, which is aimed at promoting better overall learning, development, and well-being.
Over 85% of a child’s cumulative brain development occurs prior to the age of 6, indicating the critical importance of appropriate care and stimulation of the brain in the early years in order to ensure healthy brain development and growth. Presently, quality ECCE is not available to crores of young children, particularly children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Strong investment in ECCE has the potential to give all young children such access, enabling them to participate and flourish in the educational system throughout their lives. Universal provisioning of quality early childhood development, care, and education must thus be achieved as soon as possible, and no later than 2030, to ensure that all students entering Grade 1 are school ready.
So, the Early Childhood education is no more an option. National education policy has recognized 3 years of learning at pre school as part of new structure.