Cambridge, the world’s largest provider of international education programmes, has launched its first early years education programme to help support early childhood schooling in Ghana in children as young as three.
The new play-based programme, which has been developed following a successful rollout in India, has been expertly designed to give children aged three to six the best start in life, helping them meet key early milestones and thrive in and out of school.
Cambridge Early Years will form the first stage in the Cambridge Pathway, a high-quality and joined-up path for educational success for children aged 3 to 19.
Multiple studies confirm that education during the early years is crucial. Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Early Learning and Child Well-being Study shows that, among other benefits, a high-quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), compared to an average one, can double the growth in children’s verbal comprehension.
The decision to expand its education pathway will see Cambridge help schools in Ghana and around the world strengthen their early year’s education provision, something it believes will reap dividends for parents and teachers as children progress through their school careers.
Mr Rod Smith, Group Managing Director for International Education at Cambridge, in a statement issued in Accra yesterday, said “we all know that the early years of a child’s life are crucial to their development.
Research shows that the better we support children at this stage, the more positive impact we can have on their future.
“Our new Cambridge Early Years programme draws on Cambridge’s unrivalled expertise in high-quality education to help schools in Ghana give children as many exciting and stimulating learning experiences as possible – making the most of this key phase of brain development and getting children off to a good start in life,” he said.
The Cambridge Early Years programme draws on Cambridge’s worldwide research on curriculum principles from high-performing education systems, as well as analysis of best practices in early years education and the characteristics that have the most impact. The research resulted in 12 key principles that underpin the programme.
The principles were developed in collaboration with world-class scholars, researchers and practitioners in early year’s education.
“The importance of play-based learning, and the need to move children gradually towards more formal teaching in readiness for primary education, are two of the principles that guided the development of every element of the programme. The principles ensure that children not only acquire knowledge from a young age, but also the essential skills to navigate and adapt to a rapidly changing world,” he said.
Juan Visser, Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Africa for International Education at Cambridge, said “we know that good early years’ education can benefit a child’s whole academic career and so I’m thrilled that we are adding this new stage to the Cambridge Pathway – it’s what schools have been asking for.
Our Cambridge Early Years programme brings together the best approaches from around the world with extensive teacher support. We want to help schools in Ghana support children’s long-term development and help them to be ready for the world.”