Much of the first two years of a child's life is spent in the creation of a child's first "sense of self"; most children are able to differentiate between themselves and others by their second year.
This is a crucial part of the child's ability to determine how they should function in relation to other people.
Early care must emphasize links to family, home culture, and home language by uniquely caring for each child.[according to whom?] Infant education is the education of children before they would normally enter school.
The term "Infant" is typically applied to children between the ages of 1 month and 12 months.
Early childhood education focuses on children's learning through play, based on the research and philosophy of Jean Piaget.
This belief is centered on the "power of play."
It has been thought that children learn more efficiently and gain more knowledge through play-based activities such as dramatic play, art, and social games.
This theory plays stems children's natural curiosity and tendencies to "make believe," mixing in educational lessons.
Researchers and early childhood educators both view the parents as an integral part of the early childhood education process.
Often educators refer to parents as the child's "first and best teacher."