New national curriculum targeting 3-6-year-olds set for release in Early Childhood Care and Education

Early Childhood Care and Education

The Ministry of Women and Child Development announced on Monday its plans to introduce a national curriculum for early childhood care and education targeting children aged three to six years. While the launch date remains undecided, this initiative signifies a robust stride towards enhancing the foundational years of children’s education in India, aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 directives.

In addition to the curriculum for older preschool children, the Ministry will unveil a national framework aimed at early childhood stimulation for infants and toddlers from birth to three years. This move underscores the critical importance of the early years in a child’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development, given that 85% of a child’s brain develops before age six.

The introduction of these educational frameworks is part of a broader effort to fortify India’s early childhood care and education (ECCE) infrastructure. By integrating initiatives such as Mission Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0, along with the support schemes Palna and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), the Ministry aims to provide comprehensive care and holistic developmental opportunities for mothers and children under six.

The National Curriculum for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) 2024 is designed to embrace all aspects of a child’s growth, advocating competency-based learning through engaging, joyful activities. It seeks to improve the quality of early education, ensuring it is in harmony with the National Curriculum Framework for the Foundational Stage 2022, thus smoothing the transition to primary school.

Parallelly, the National Framework for Early Childhood Stimulation 2024 focuses on equipping caregivers and Anganwadi workers with essential skills and knowledge for fostering optimal early stimulation techniques, such as interactive engagement and responsive caregiving. These efforts aim to create a supportive and enriching environment for the holistic development of young children.

Both the curriculum and the framework have been meticulously prepared by the National Institute for Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), incorporating insights from Anganwadi workers to guarantee adaptability and efficacy. The NIPCCD will lead the training initiatives for Anganwadi personnel on these new educational materials.

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