With the recent report by the Second Congressional Commission on Education (Edcom) as released by The Philippine Star, that a fewer than half of Filipino children age 3-4 attend Day Cares or Early Childhood Development schools, the commission acknowledges that Filipinos are losing the opportunity to gain the long term benefits of pre-school as a foundation of education.

As a parent and school directress who has observed how children aged 2-4 have discovered and developed their potentials in one school year, I would say that the evolvement is truly remarkable. I remember that regardless of their age of entry, most of the learners have now gained the social engagement confidence from assuming or looking at people, situations and environment as “strange” because of unfamiliarity or something new to them. They have learned to identify which is safe and risky or good and bad. Further, they have acquired the social skills to take turns and be responsible on things they can manage, in order to thrive in different scenarios and challenges at their age.

Not only that they do good at test scores which prepare them to succeed in classroom academic setting, likewise, they have unearthed their skills to transform curiosity into a learning process and enhance their emotional strength through making friends and interacting with their classmates. Above all, they have been exposed to a much bigger world aside from the four walls of home.

In our community, as a Japanese-Filipino school, we prioritize inculcating discipline and good vales to our children while they advance in numeracy, literacy, body control art, science and technology through training them good habits with cleaning time after playing, praying before and after meals, singing and dancing their hearts out and playing under the sun, while having fun in science experiments, participating in public music performances, going out in a wider environment as part of experiential education, being gradually familiar with the functions of new technology as they are now living in the world of artificial intelligence, and engaging in sport activities through school festivals associated in aforementioned learning areas.

With the rise of private pre-kinder schools which answers the lack of classroom facilities in the country, the question though is, how will our government address the needs of those who cannot afford to send their children to these institution with professional early childhood development teachers, while low-income parents can only avail day care services with undergraduates unequipped with literacy transfer of knowledge strategies because truth is, it’s only what the government education fund can afford! By the time day care learners enter a regular kindergarten environment, chances are will they be ready to catch up in the curriculum teaching pace set by the department of education or that worst, what would be the emotional impact to children who haven’t even had a year of pre-kinder exposure should they belong to parents who assume that only kindergarten is the first education stage necessary?

I wish to speak to the hearts of parents, that no matter how hard up life is, at least send kids to day cares at 3 and 4 years old, rather than miss the chance to experience the aid of learning and multiple development growth for children their age. Also, there’s still hope, when the government education heads do not deprive children of free services private institutions can offer, with decisions lying at their hands, especially for the sake of children. In the world early childhood education, being selfless can open definitely doors for youngs whose unpredictable future awaits. Let us choose to provide their rights to be armed fully in life’s transitions when they couldn’t decide for what’s best for them, yet. How about change the mindset of “My child is too early for school” to “I’m excited to what my child would become equipped with early childhood education!” No children are too young to learn.