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Kindergarten and Preschool - The Early Childhood Education Guide

Kindergarten and Preschool - The Early Childhood Education Program (India)

  • Pregnancy Knowledge For Preschool Teachers

    “Pregnancy is one of the included topics if you are a preschool / Kindergarten teacher or planning to. Below are topics related to pregnancy like symptoms, how to test and care pregnancy and some warning related topics required to know when in preschool..”

    Pregnancy Symptoms

    • Missed periods : The absence of the menstrual period is often the first sign of possible pregnancy. However, some women experience light bleeding around the time of expected menstruation.
    • Morning sickness : Most of the pregnant women experience some degree of morning sickness, especially in the first few months. The symptoms include nausea and vomitting. For most women, morning sickness begins around the fourth week of pregnancy and resolves by the twelth week.
    • Breast changes : During pregnancy, the breasts becomes fuller, swollen and the skin around the nipple becomes dark. Many women report that the sensations are similar to those experienced in the few days prior to menstruation.
    • Fatigue :  Many newly pregnant women report feeling of tiredness. In most cases, energy levels rise by about the fourth month of pregnancy when the placenta is working properly.
    • Frequent urination : Most women start experiencing more frequent urination within the first few weeks of conception.
    • Mood changes : Some newly pregnant women experiences mood changes that are similar to those typically felt in the days leading up to mensturation, such as irritability or weepiness.
    • Food Cravings :  Around eight out of ten pregnant women experience cravings for at least one particular food. According to some theories, a craving indicates a deficiency in the diet.

    Pregnancy Test

    There are pregnancy home test kits available from chemists that offer reliable and accurate readings, if performed strictly to the manufacturer’s instructions. Blood tests can be accurate within one week. Urine test can be accurate after two weeks.

    Care During Pregnancy

    Diet : For the healthy pregnant woman, no special diet is necessary but the food must be adequate in quantity & quality.

    Balanced diet for pregnant women:

    Food Group                    Food Stuff                             Amount per day (Grams)

    I                                   Milk, Curd etc                                   225
    II                                Pluses, dried beans                          45
    III                              Nuts, fish, egg                                     60
    IV                              Fruits                                                      30
    V                                Green leafy vegetables                   150
    VI                              Other Vegetables                              125
    VII                           Rice, Wheat and millets                  350
    VIII                         Oil, ghee, butter etc                          35
    IX                             Sugar and Jaggery                             40

    Physical Care : Though pregnancy is a normal occurrnece, physical care is essential during this preiod. The oridinary good habits need not be interfered but special case of breasts and teeth is a must. Daily bath with lukewarm water is advisable.

    Rest & Exercise : Walking, household work, gardening etc are excellent ways of getting exercise, fresh air and sunshine that are very essential for a pregnant woman. It strengthens the muscles, which will be active in labor. Lifting of heavy weight or any other strenuous activities should be avoided. A proper balance should be maintained between rest & work. Lying down at intervals during the day and about eight hours sleep in the night is necessary.

    Personal and environmental hygiene : Looking after you before and around the time of conception is improtant. It concerns everyday matters such as diet, weight, immunity, exercise alcohol, smoking and environmental influences.

    Warnings and Signs

    1. An interval of at least two years since the last birth is a must.
    2. Pregnancy under the age of 18 years or over 35 years of age is not safe.
    3. Previous miscarriage or abortion.
    4. Any difficulty in previous delivery.
    5. Low maternal body weight i.e.less than 38 kilograms before pregnancy.
    6. Short maternal stature, less than 145 cm in height.

    Prenatal Development Problems : Genetic and Environmental Problems

    “Most prenatal development occurs normally, following the established patterns with little variation. However, there are a number of things that can go wrong during this time, which are usually cause by genetics or environmental problems..”

    Genetic Problems

    Down Syndrome:

    Down syndrome is the most common genetic problem during the prenatal development. Generally there are two sets of chromosomes but Down syndrome is caused by an extra copy of the 21st chromosome and impacts approximately one out of every thousand infants. It happens mostly if mother’s age is more.

    The consequences of Down syndrome are:

    • Flattened facial features
    • Heart defects
    • Mental retardation

    Inherited diseases

    A number of diseases can be inherited if one or both parents carry a gene for the disease. Examples of inherited diseases include Sickle-cell anemia, Cystic fibrosis, and Tay-Sachs diseases. Genetic tests can often determine if a parent is a carrier of genes for a specific disease.

    Sex-Chromosomes Problems

    A third type of genetic problems involves sex chromosomes in which there are two types of syndromes:

    1. Klinefelter’s syndrome (an extra X – chromosomes) i.e XXY due to this the child born is apparently male with the features of female.
    2. Turner syndrome (as single X – chromosomes) i.e OX due to this the female child born will be infertile & will not be able to reproduce.

    Environmental Problems

    There are two types of environmental problems that happen because of mothers. They are:

    Maternal Drug Use

    The habits of the mother like smoking, taking alcohol or drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine can have devastating consequences on the fetus. The affects on child are as follows:

    • Low birth weight
    • Weak immune system
    • Poor respiration
    • Neurological impairment
    • Heart defects
    • Body malformations
    • Mental retardation

    Maternal Disease

    There are a number of maternal diseases that can negatively impact the fetus, including the following ones:

    • Herpes
    • Aids

    Herpes virus is one of the most common viruses that can be transmitted in the fetus leading to deafness, brain swelling, or mental retardation. Women with herpes virus are often encouraged to deliver the baby via cesarean to avoid transmission of the virus.

    Prenatel Development – Stages and Month Wise Development

    “Prenatal development refers to the growth of the baby from the time of conception until birth. Below explained are the development stages, month wise, week wise etc..”

    The growth that occurs during this time is more rapid and miraculous than the growth and changes that the individual will experience at any other time of life. The body will develop from one cell,to an infant weighing approximately 7 1/2 pounds and containing about 200 billion cells. All this occurs in nine-months nine day or 280 days days time period.

    3 Stages Of Prenatal development

    The Germinal Stage (Conception – 2nd week)

    The germinal stage begins with conception, when the sperm and ovum unite in one of the two fallopian tubes. The fertilized ovum is known as zygote and it consists of one cell. The zygote moves towards the uterus in a period of around one week. The cell division begins approximately 24 to 36 hours after conception. The zygote divides into two cells, still later each new cell divides. The process is repeated again and cells develop into blastocyst. The blastocyst
    is made up of three layers :

    • Ectoderm (Outer Layer): From which the skin, hair, nails, sensory cells and nervous system develop.
    • Endoderm (Inner Layer): From which the gastro-intestinal tract, trachea, bronchi, lungs, liver, pancreas, salivary glands develop.
    • Mesoderm (Middle Layer): From which the muscles, skeleton, excreatroy organs and circulatory organs develop.

    Finally, the blastocyst arrives at the uterus and gets attached to the uterine wall, a process known as implantation. The body contains 23 pairs of chromosomes total 46 represented both by mother and father. Out of the 23 pairs, the first 22 chromosomes are responsible for the same characteristics in male and female. But the 23rd pair is different in men and women. In women it contains two X type chromosomes and in men one is X type and other is Y type chromosomes. When fertilization occurs, if the male X sperm combines with the female X cell, this produces a female child and if the male Y cell combines with the female X cell, this produces a male child. Therefore the 23rd pair of chromosomes is special because it determines the sex of the new born.

    The Embryonic Stage (3rd Week – 8th Week)

    The mass of cells is now known as embryo. The embryonic stage begins after implantation and continues until cell differentiation has been mostly completed. The umbilical cord is formed. It extends from the embryo and is attached to the opposite end of the uterine wall. This area is called placenta. During this period development is extremely rapid. Front, back, head and tail are discernible of the nervous system. By the end of this stage mouth region, liver, face, feet, legs begin to appear.

    The Fetal Stage (9th Week – Birth of the baby)

    This period extends from the beginning of the ninth week until birth. Its beginning is marked by the development of the bone structure. During this period refinement and development of the various body systems take place. Now the growth of the head region slows down and the rest of the body grows more rapidly.

    Major development period of the fetus

    By the end of the 3rd month

    • Muscles develop more extensively.
    • The sex of the fetus can be determined.
    • Eyelids, lips and nails, vocal cords begin to form.
    • Spontaneous movements of arms and legs of the fetus are too small.
    • However the fetus even somersaults in the amniotic sac.

    By the of the 4th month

    • The mother can feel the movement of the fetus. 
    • Growth of the lower parts of the body takes place.

    By the end of 5th month

    • Skin begins to form.
    • Hair appears in the head.
    • Eyebrows form.
    • Some photographs show the fetus sucking its thumb.
    • A layer of fat begins to form under the skin.

    By the end of the 6th month

    • Eyes are completely formed though they are closed.
    • Taste buds, finger nails and sweat glands are formed.
    • The fetus can inhale and exhale.
    • If prematurely born this time survival rate is low.

    By the end of the 7th month

    • The eyelids open and blink.
    • All the systems are developed and they are functioning so that if the child is born prematurely now it can survive.

    By the end of the 9th month

    • During the eight and nineth month the body structure refines.
    • The fetus gains in height ans weight.

    Questions on Childhood Development

    “Some important short notes and Answer the following on childhood development for preschool syllabus ..”

    Q.1) Answer the following

    1. Explain the meaning & give the objectives of studying child development?
    2. Explain the principles of growth and development ?
    3. Explain “Heredity and environment together play equally important role in the formation of human nature” ?

    Q.2) Write short notes on

    1. Growth & development.
    2. Maturation & learning.
    3. Laws of heredity

    Q.3) Answer the following in 3-4 sentences

    1. Why is learning child development for the teacher trainees very important ?
    2. Give the definition of child development ?
    3. What do you mean by ‘Environment’ ?
    4. What do you mean by ‘Growth’?

    Q.4) Give reasons

    1. Childhood is the most precious stage of life.
    2. Development is cumulative.

    Preschool Children Development Explained

    “Being in Preschool, It is important to understand how the growth and other developments in children takes place on various stage and what are the characteristics of same. This human development understanding in children sure helps parents and preschool teachers in many positive ways..”

    Characteristics of growth and development, which are observed in children universally

    • Development is continuous :  Human beings are constantly changing. One is not the same today as he was yesterday. A moment later he will be different from what he is now.
    • Development is cumulative : In the development process, certain changes impress us with their dramatic suddenness such as the day a child utters his first word, his first step, the appearance of his first tooth, his first day at school and his first shave are some of the turning points in his life.
    • Development is orderly : It has been proved that development proceeds in two directions.
    1. Caphalocaudal ( head to toe): A child learns to lift up his feet.
    2. Proximodistal (center to distant parts): A small child uses his whole body along with his arms to hold a ball, where as a grown up one holds it easily with his fingers & thumb.
    • Development proceeds from the general to the specific : Human development proceeds from general, undifferentiated and diffused movements to the more selected, specific and refined movement exhibited during later years. Mina, who had started walking with unsteady steps and awkward movements at the age of 14 months, is today a pretty 12 years old girl who is admired for his mastery of intricate footwork in Indian classical dance.
    • Development is complex : A human being is a complex structure of many interrelated, dynamic factors that do not keep pace with one another in their rates of development. During the first two years, the development of the brain is very rapid; the physical and mental development is comparatively slower, while the social development is negligible.At age ten, the brain develops ninety percent, physical development is fifty percent and the genital organs are developed to the extent of ten percent.
    • Development patterns vary : Although the human developments sequence is uniform, the individual rate varies.
    • Heredity & Environment During Growth : The traits passed through from parents and environment around the child are the only two factors that determine human nature.
    • Development is Regressive : Although development is in itself a positive term but still sometimes the child forgets what he has learnt for e.g. holding a pencil, spellings etc. This is very normal and a temporary phase.

    Heredity and Environment – Preschool Children Development

    “Two most important factors in children development are ‘Heredity’ and ‘Environment’ (both determinants of health) where your child spends most of the time majorly being in preschool and otherwise at home with family and friends, these two are very important considerations playing vital role in childhood development. Lets understand preschool point of view the same..”

    Heredity Factor

    “Heredity is the transfer of traits from one generation to another with the help of chromosomes” Physical and Mental (Emotional)  are two traits together play a significant role in transfer of total personality from parents to off springs..

    1. Physical Traits : Instances for physical traits are height, body structure, shapes of different parts of body, heart-trouble, diabetes, baldness, asthma, etc.
    2. Mental Traits :  Mental and emotional traits are intelligence, memory power, interests and talent in music, art, literature, dancing etc. even cruel nature, cool-headed nature, etc.  come under these traits.

    Laws of Heredity

    • Like produces like : According to this law, human being will produce human beings, just as a cat will produce a cat.
    • Only certain traits are transformed : According to this law, the dominant traits get transferred more easily than the recessive traits.
    • Convergence of two lives : According to this law both the parents play an equally important role in converging their traits to their off springs.

    Environment Factor

    By environment, we mean all those physical and social factors that affect and influence the development of the child like the home, the family, the neighborhood, the companions, the school, the teachers, the political and religious agencies, the society in general. No individual is the same at maturity as he was born. Any or all of the environmental components can affect the health of the person. Everything that influences the child apart from himself from  what he inherited from his parents is his environment.

    Development Conclusion

    Both Heredity & environment together play equally important role in the formation of human nature. However,in some cases it has been proved that heredity plays more significant role in children development being in preschool or at home. At the same time, there have been evidences showing that in some other cases environment has played a significant role in formation of human nature.

    Thus as parents, we have both the factors in our hands and both the parents can together make the best efforts to improve the child. As pre-primary teachers. We have no control on the child’s heredity. Yet we can improve the environment. Thus as a good teacher, we should provide rich and stimulating environment which would promote
    the healthy development of the child.

    Preschool Child Development Growth and Maturation

    “The ability of proper growth and maturation should be a distinct feature of every preschool, early years are the foundation years for various physical and psychological traits and behavior patterns. Childhood development is the most precious stage of life.  It  takes place within first four-five years of childhood and then cannot be achieved in the rest of the life..”

    Hence, learning child development for teacher trainees is very important to help them understand children better and to be able to cater to their educational needs keeping in mind their development.

    Objectives of studying child development

    1. To learn about development phases from conception to six years.
    2. To become aware of the factors influencing development.
    3. To understand the role of adults or care-givers in providing stimulating experiences to infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers for their optimum development.

    Meaning of child development

    Child development can be defined as a a systematic study of growth and development of an individual from conception to maturity.

    Two central questions about development concern all child psychologists.

    1. How do children change as they develop ?
    2. What are the determinants of these developmental changes ?

    Child psychology involves both the description and explanation of changes in children’s development. Today the major emphasis in child development is on discovering the characteristics changes in appearance behavior, interests, attitudes and goals as the child passes from one developmental stage to another. In addition child development attempts to find out when these changes normally occur, what is responsible for them, whether they are individual or universal.

    Growth and Development

    As we observe a child over a period of years, we see him growing as well as developing. Development starts from conception and continues until death.

    The term ‘growth’ is generally used to indicate changes of a quantitative nature, such as changes in size, weight and height. It can be measured. Simultaneously, ‘development’ is used to show changes of a qualitative nature such as the ability to sit, stand, hold a pencil, bladder control, etc. it is immeasurable.

    This distinction between growth & development serves as a useful purpose on the theoretical side, but they are interdependent. Children do not grow without development nor does development take place without a corresponding change in growth.

    Maturation and Learning

    Development of a child takes place because of two basic but complex processes :

    Maturation refers to the changes, qualitative and quantitative, that occur within an individual’s body. It is the gradual blossoming of traits that are hidden by heredity. These traits are potentially present slowly develop into predictable characteristics even in the absence of special training.

    Learning implies exercise and efforts that help or bring about a change both in the physical structure and the behavior of the child. It helps the child to put his hereditary resources to the best advantages. The traits that are potentially present in a child will not develop to the maximum without effort.

    Questions On Preschool Classroom Administration and Arrangements

    “So here are some important questions related to ECCE (Preschool) classroom arrangements to be done and what are the important administration points to be covered in the test, a helpful questionnaire for preschool teachers..”


    Q.1) Answer the following questions :

    1. Give the qualities of a good teacher ?
    2. Explain “Classroom environment for ECCE lays a crucial role in learning” ?
    3. Explain “A teacher should have imitate relationship with parents by organizing Parent Teacher Association” ?
    4. Give the two elements of preschool administration ?

    Q.2) Write short notes on :

    1. Material Elements
    2. Principal
    3. Teacher
    4. Classroom arrangements for ECCE set up.

    Q.3) Answer the following in 3-4 sentences :

    1. Why should a teacher not show undue preference to someone ?
    2. In what way the teacher can educate the parents ?
    3. Why should the principle be a dynamic leader ?

    Q.4) Give Reasons :

    1. Preschool administration is very vital for proper education.
    2. The teacher plays an important role in modeling and shaping the personality of the child.
    3. While books can teach , only personality can educate.
    4. The voice of a teacher should be clear and well modulated.

    Preschool Classroom Arrangements – Important Arrangements for ECCE setup

    “Classroom arrangement plays a crucial role in preschool learning. The more space and better arrangement their for any ECCE setup, children have the better with their exploration skills. Hence these points need to be kept in mind while setting up a preschool classroom are below..”

    Key Arrangements for any Preschool (ECCE setup)

    1. Create clear visuals boundaries, making it apparent to children where learning areas stop and start.
    2. Define childcare areas with units, equipment with backs, area rugs, etc.
    3. Each learning area should be separate, and its entity and area.
    4. The Art area and sand/water play should be located on tile and by sinks if possible, for easy clean up.
    5. Group similar things together and display materials so that they can be seen in labeled bins, baskets and boxes.
    6. Avoid having any “blind spots” or areas where children cannot be seen.
    7. Separate quiet and loud areas so that children can respect each others play experiences.
    8. Create a soft, quiet area where a child can choose to be alone.
    9. Pull equipment away from the walls.
    10. Utilize your equipment to create “nooks” and to visually invite people to come all the way into the classroom
    11. Have any needed supplies and material close and accessible to the children (smocks, paper towels, paintbrushes, garbage can, etc) to encourage independence.
    12. Areas should indicate logical use of the material. For example, if the tables are located right by the manipulative shelf, children are given the cue to take those toys to the table.

    Arrangements for taking a lesson should be made before hand.

    1. Decoration of the board
    2. Writing the topic and sub-topic
    3. Materials required for taking a lecture in the class, such as :
    • Classroom arrangement with the teaching aids.
    • Activity sheets along with the names and roll numbers of the students.
    • Always keep some extra materials that are to be used at the time of activity.
    • Always keep some tissues, plastic bags, old newspapers and napkins ready.
    • Always end the session with the clean up time.

    Preschool Administration – The 2 Important Element Of Administration

    “Preschool administration is very vital for proper education. Unless the schools are properly administerd and organized, they cannot fulfill and achieve the social objectives. In order to bring about proper administration of the preschool, we should have a clear idea about the scope of school organization and administration..”

    2 Important Elements

    All these elements of administration are there with a definite view. This view is nothing but the objectives and the principles of education. the real objective and aim of the establishment of the school is the development of the child, intellectually, physically, morally, scoially etc. In order to achieve these objectives, various elements are organized.

    Human elements :

    • Principal
    • Co-ordination
    • Teacher
    • Students
    • Parents
    • Non teaching staff

    Material elements :

    • Construction of curriculum
    • Timetable
    • Physical structure
    • Distribution of work
    • Discipline
    • Organization of the co-curricular activities
    • Proper relationship between home and the school
    • Inspection
    • Proper arrangement of the hostels
    • Arrangement for the books, fee and free ship for poor and meritorious students.
    • Corporate life of the school.

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