Childhood development is grouped into three broad stages:

  • Early childhood – 0-8 years
  • Middle childhood – 8-12 years
  • Adolescence – 12-18 years

When it comes to education, early childhood is generally considered to be from 3-5 years of age. You might also hear it referred to in other ways, such as early education, kindergarten, pre-school or daycare.

During these earliest years, an incredible brain transformation is taking place. Millions of neural connections are constantly being formed as the individual is exposed to different environments, activities and learning. This period is laying the vital foundations upon which an individual can build as they grow. This makes it a crucial development stage that impacts every other element as they progress through life – including that of how successful they are at school.

The purpose of early childhood education is to provide a learning environment that provides the necessary stimulation a child needs in both a formal and informal atmosphere. 

UNESCO describes early childhood education as follows:

“Early childhood, defined as the period from birth to eight years old, is a time of remarkable growth with brain development at its peak. During this stage, children are highly influenced by the environment and the people that surround them.”

The Relationship Between Early Childhood Education and Further Academic Success

Early childhood education encompasses the years when children begin to develop as individuals. Very early physical progression tends to follow a common path: the child is born, crawls, walks, begins to talk and so on. It’s when they become toddlers that personalities and preferences become more apparent as the child begins to forge their unique path.

Multiple studies and research have shown that:

  • A lack of stimulation, nurture and support during the early years has a detrimental effect on overall development.
  • Early childhood education greatly reduces the likelihood of learning delays. 
  • Children who benefit from a formal early education program achieve higher academic success at school. This transfers to adulthood, with improved career opportunities and associated earnings. In addition, there are links with better levels of health, as well as lower dependence and crime rates in those who’ve undergone a targeted path to education during their formative years.

Taking all this into consideration, it’s no wonder that UNESCO’s 2030 agenda that includes the Sustainable Development Goal 4 states that:

 “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”.

Early childhood education uses the art of play and a child’s natural curiosity to nurture a lifelong love of learning. It also promotes a strong sense of ethics, diversity, holistic development and resilience.

The experiences that a child has during these formative years have a disproportionately large impact on their success levels at school and further into adulthood. The aptly named Achievement Gap, which focuses on the disparity in academic performance between different groups of students, has been proven to be dramatically overcome through targeted early childhood education. 

An extensive review by Professor Susanna Leob and Daphana Bassok discusses the pivotal relationship between a child’s cognitive and social abilities at school entry-level and their related success as they progress through the education system.

Early Childhood Education is an Investment into a Child’s Future

The advantages of early childhood education are unequivocal. In combination with a loving home environment, investing in your child’s education during those crucial early years is one of the best gifts a parent or caregiver can bequeath.

At Nido Early Schools we’re passionate about providing our future generations with the ultimate in early childhood education. Our educators all possess the same drive and are committed to our goal of helping Australia’s children benefit from the very best start in life possible. But don’t just take our word for it – come and see us in action.


Danielle Innes

I have over 21 years’ experience in Early Childhood Education and Care in South Australia.

I have held managerial and leadership positions in the private and community sectors and also worked with children with additional rights as Education Supervisor of SA’s first Autism Specific Early Learning Centre.

I really enjoyed my recent position with the State Regulatory Authority, but felt a strong calling to return to childhood education and so I joined Nido Early School in August 2019. I love the variety and challenges of my role as People and Quality Leader and am passionate about high-quality practices, routines, curriculums and like-minded educators and the difference they make to the lifelong outcomes of early learners and their families.

I’m a wife and mum of three and balance work with a busy and active family life which includes sports, time outdoors and camping.