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How education affects early child development

Updated July 19, 2017

School affects a child's development in many different ways. Going to school is an exciting adventure for young children. Whether it's preschool or kindergarten, there are aspects of getting an education that don't include learning to read and write. Children go through various stages of learning and development, and education is important at each step of the process.

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According to the Drop Out Prevention Center/Network (DOPC/N), a high-quality early childhood education benefits a child's cognitive and social development in the early years. A high-quality early childhood education also has a positive effect on lower-income families and at-risk children by starting them off with the encouragement of social relationships and a positive view of education.

Time Frame

Parents are considered the first teachers of a child, and parental involvement has a positive effect on a child's school experience. When parents are directly involved with their child's education, the child has higher academic achievement and better social interactions with others, according to the DOPC/N.

Physical Development

School helps form a complete child by assisting with physical development. According to Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library and the National Institute of Health, educational systems help children develop fine and gross motor skills. Schools offer children an outlet for physical group play through recess as well as organised physical activities through physical education class.

Social Development

Children experiment with social skills in school, allowing them to learn and understand social skills necessary for later life. An education provides children with the knowledge that certain behaviours are not acceptable, such as lying, stealing and cheating. Peer acceptance is important in educational settings, and creating friendships is an essential step for children in understanding how to make positive connections with their peers and how to respect and work with others their own age.

Academic Development

An education is essential to early childhood academic development. According to the NDPC/N, children who receive schooling at an early age are more likely to stay in school, and those children perform better later in academics. School introduces new concepts, ideas and skills to children, and provides them with a safe and comfortable place to explore and experiment, along with discussing their findings with peers.


According to the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, some adults and educators feel children aren't ready to go to school unless they can recite the alphabet. But schooling is good for children in many ways, and it should be seen as a benefit to child development, no matter what skill set the child has when he goes to school.

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About the Author

Sarah Lipoff

Sarah Lipoff has been writing since 2008. She has been published through BabyZone, Parents, Funderstanding and Education.com. Lipoff has worked as a K-12 art teacher, museum educator and preschool teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science in K-12 art education from St. Cloud State University.

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