Early Childhood Education (Encyclopedia of Children's Health)
Early childhood education consists of activities and/or experiences that are intended to effect developmental changes in children prior to their entry into elementary school.
Early childhood education (ECE) programs include any type of educational program that serves children in the preschool years and is designed to improve later school performance. In the second half of the twentieth century, the early education system in the United States grew substantially. This trend allowed the majority of American children to have access to some form of early childhood education.
There are several types of programs that represent early childhood education. They are also known by a variety of names, including preschool and pre-kindergarten (pre-K). One of the first early childhood education initiatives in the United States was the Head Start program, started in 1965. Head Start is a federal government education initiative that has provided children from low-income families free access to early education. It targets children of low socioeconomic status or those who qualify in some at-risk category. Head Start programs are funded by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
(The entire section is 1327 words.)
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