While some parents may choose to stay home to care for their children, more now than ever, we are sending our babies and toddlers to childcare professionals to assist us with childcare. It gives us more time in the day and helps parents focus on careers or other life commitments. Since the early 1500s, we have learnt a lot about childhood learning and development.
How has our early childhood education changed over the years?
Theorists in early education
The roots of childcare go back as far as the early 1500s. The concept of child education is attributed to Martin Luther (1483-1546). During this time, very few people were able to read or were literate, but Martin Luther believed that education should be universal and emphasised the importance of education on family and community. Much of the push for education was based on the belief that children should be able to read the Bible.
John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) was the next person to have a huge influence on childhood education. He believed that children should learn in order to experience sensory exploration. He wrote the first children’s picture book to promote literacy.
John Locke (1632-1704) coined the famous term “blank slate” to describe how children first start out and their environment has an impact on their metaphorical ‘slate’.
During this time period, Friedrich Froebel had a big influence, stating that children learn through play. He designed teacher training where he emphasised the importance of observation and developing programmes and activities to assist children at different skill levels. He was responsible for forming the first early childhood setting and founded the first kindergarten.
Marta Montessori (1870-1952) reviewed education as a way to enhance children’s lives and put an emphasis on making the learning environment just as stimulating as the learning itself. She created the viewpoint that children’s senses should be educated first, and then their intellect. The Montessori Method is recognised internationally as a model of educating children.
Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) was the founder of the Reggio Emilia approach which was based on the original childcare centre. He was a strong believer in documenting the way children learn and what interests them.
David Weikart (1931-2003) drew on theories from Piaget, Dewey and Vygotsky to create an organisation that completed studies of children to learn more about the best form of education.
All theorists involved in early education had an influence on the way our early childcare has evolved over time.
Are you looking for quality childcare for your baby or toddler? Little Acorns Day Nursery offers childcare with dedicated and highly trained childcare professionals in Hedge End and Eastleigh. To learn more about our children’s day nursery, get in touch today.