New Delhi, 22 March 2023-
The Early Childhood Development Forum (ECDF) launched its maiden book title, Early Childhood Development – Universal Perspectives by Global Experts at a function held at The Press Club of India here today.
The book was launched by Jiten Khanna, social activist, author, and motivational coach, in the presence of a widely attended gathering, followed by a panel discussion by renowned international and national early childcare experts. He said that “Reading is an essential habit that needs to be inculcated in children from their early years through story-telling. Stories trigger imagination, develop memory and teach them problem-solving besides language development.”
The distinguished panelists included Dr Sue Allingham, an education consultant of the UK, Dr Kathryn Murray, CEO of Future Strong Education, Australia, Simran Ballani, Pedagogical Head of Council for Creative Education, Finland, Amrit Nagpal Vohra, Former Preschools and Early Childhood Care and Education, Head of Birla Open Minds Educational Services, and Renu Kaul, Director of Vitasta Publishing House.
Dr Vasavvi Acharjya, Chairperson of ECDF and the editor of the newly-launched book, said: “The early years are the most crucial period, and determine future success in life. If children are given the best care and taught the core skills early on, they grow up to become successful individuals and live fulfilling lives.” “The book is a positive step towards fulfillment of India’s New Education Policy goals, one that aims at integrated learning and inculcating the 21st-century skill needs among children.This is for the first time that Early Childhood Education has been approved and included in the formal education system in India,” Acharjya said. Covering diverse topics such as ‘Neuroscience of Storytelling’, ‘Socio-Emotional Development’ and ‘Conscious Parenting, the book is a wealth of knowledge and experience from around the world. “All these elements are part of India’s New National Curriculum Framework.
The range of this book will definitely offer fresh insights into early childhood development for both professionals and parents” she added.
Dr Acharjya is also the Managing Director of Tender Petals, a chain of preschools present in Northeast India and Jharkhand. She has authored a parenting handbook titled The First 5 Years – Demystifying the Crucial Period of Parenting, which has been translated into Assamese. She was formerly an education trainer at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
During the panel discussion, Dr Sue Allingham, said: “The emotional and physical environment has a profound effect on the youngest children. As educators, we are responsible for understanding this, and we, therefore, have to be sure that our work is informed by neuroscience, attachment, and child development.”
“Early years educators are encouraged to place storytelling at the heart of our learning programs. There is an art to telling a good story, and we all know a good story when we hear one. But there is also a science behind the art of storytelling”, said Amrit Nagpal Vohra.
“Social-emotional learning is the process by which children and adults learn to understand and manage emotions. Research suggests that helping children in the early years through the process of social-emotional learning and setting them on the path of social-emotional competence is an important role of the adults involved in their lives,” said Simran Ballani.
Education experts who contributed their writings to the book include Dr Lidia Tavani (Italy), Mandy Worsley and Julie Robinson (UK), Abigail Carr (Hong Kong), Kari Sutton (Australia), Azura Abrasid (Malaysia), Charlotte Thronton (UK) and Girija Gopinath (India).