The concept of education has witnessed a complete turnaround in last few decades. Now it is no more about traditional classroom lectures. With the advent of Internet in a big way, teaching methodologies have undergone a sea change. Awareness about importance of education has also increased. The change has also been experienced in the field of early childhood education. Playschools, preschools and nursery schools etc have emerged in a big way. Considering the busy lifestyle of parents and increasing number of nuclear families, preschools have become first educational choice for the parents. With both father and mother working, especially in urban cities and metropolitans, parents have got no better alternative than sending their kids to early childhood education programs.
Early childhood education refers to the most important phase in a person’s life. A well developed elementary curriculum focuses on physical, intelligence/cognitive, emotional, and social learning of a child during the first six to eight years of his/her life. Though, parents always play a major role in child’s learning process but preschools and kindergarten classrooms actually develop all the basic and essential skills of a child. It is a known fact that children learn at the fastest pace when they are between 0-6 years of age. This conclusion makes early childhood curriculum development a very important issue. A god preschool curriculum is one that helps boost up the child’s natural learning process. A curriculum design is not just about a well thought out scientific child development program. It also includes games, art, crafts, proper nutrition, social skills and interaction between parents and educators.
Curriculum development process must take into consideration all the aspects of a child’s personality. There are different theories adopted by various preschools for curriculum development. For instance, there is maturationist theory propounded by Jacques Rousseau and Maria Montessori and there is also a behaviorist theory developed by John B. Watson, B. F. Skinner and Edward Thorndike. No matter, which theory is followed by particular preschools, the ultimate aim of a preschool curriculum is to cater to the individual needs of a child and developing his self-esteem through various methods. A good early childhood curriculum places an emphasis on learning through play and gives equal importance on the physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of the child. The learning process must be fun for the child.