Historically, the field of early childhood education has always been closely tied to changes in the society.
Like a barometer, early childhood programs respond to changes In the social, political and economic climates. Over the past decade we have seen how the delivery of child care services has been dramatically altered to meet the needs of single parents as well as dual career families and provide many more options for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
The emerging trends in early childhood education as we see are:
- STEAM in early childhood education
- Early Science Learning
- Early Literacy Learning
- School Readiness
- Movement Education
- Technology based learning
- Arts in Early education
- Early Childhood Environments in learning
- Dual Language Learner
Challenges of early learning and running a preschool in India
1. Lack of awareness
Indian parents have grown up with the traditional mindset around savings especially among the middle income sector. Preschool education in India costs anywhere between Rs. 60000-80000 on an annual basis and not many parents are still sufficiently aware of the benefits to consider this as a worthwhile investment in their child’s future. While awareness is gradually increasing, in the short run it continues to remain a challenge especially in the smaller towns and cities where disposable incomes are not so high and penetration rates are lower.
2. Lack of quality teaching staff and training facilities
The biggest challenge faced by preschools in the unorganized sector is the lack of quality teaching staff. Training is another big challenge as there is lack of good trainers and training material in India that can help teachers understand how to work effectively with tools that have been developed especially for development of young minds.
Most preschools maintain a teacher student ratio of 1:10, which means that you need a higher number of teachers as compared to regular schools. Since the pay scales are not very high it is very difficult to attract quality teachers.
Teacher training is an expensive proposition and since attrition rates are high it is difficult to ensure ongoing training for further development
A big challenge for home grown schools is the lack of development of an effective curriculum. A curriculum that is not research based and well designed automatically results in lack of substantial learning for students. From the business perspective, in turn, it leads to lack of any differentiation for the school, which impacts its admissions and profitability.
How do you think your school differs from others?
1. The most important thing in today’s scenario – Child safety policy has been implemented at our preschool.
2. A well researched and scientifically designed curriculum which caters to the overall development of the child as well as makes children ready for first grade.
3. A curriculum which is not rigid and flexible enough to cater to the children’s needs.
4. Qualified and trained coordinator and teachers.
5. Management organizes regular professional development for the coordinator and the teachers.
6. Importance given to different types of play.
7. Goodness of various educational approaches like Multiple Intelligence, Play-way method, Reggio Emilia approach incorporated in the curriculum
8. Usage of technology to back up the curriculum.
During the preschool years, young children are developing a sense of initiative and creativity. They are curious about the world around them and about learning. They are exploring their ability to create and communicate using a variety of media (crayons, felt-tip markers, paints and other art materials, blocks, dramatic play materials, miniature life figures) and through creative movement, singing, dancing, and using their bodies to represent ideas and experiences. Digital technologies provide one more outlet for them to demonstrate their creativity and learning. We use technology to support our curriculum.
What are you plan for expansion?
We have recently opened our 2nd preschool, Trio Tots (Brand Name) in HSR Layout, Bengaluru, We have plan to expand our preschool brand across all metros in near future.
In 2018, we will start a new campus in North Bangalore with an innovative architect plan.
How does your chain of schools utilize the power of technology for improved early education?
We use ERP to manage all parents data and we are in process of developing app for ERP & communication with parents.All class rooms are audio video equipped, and we use many apps to teach students.