Perspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education

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Children’s formative development is most critical during the preschool years. It is during the earliest years of a child’s life when the fundamental building blocks of learning, cognitive development, academic achievement, information processing, language, and interpersonal skills are acquired and developed. Preschools are well suited to shape children’s overall health and well-being, with burgeoning research demonstrating a relationship between early life experiences and subsequent adult health. Preschool and quality daycare provide rich opportunities for children’s learning, yielding long-lasting and significant effects. Comprehensive preschool assessment sheds light on aspects of the whole child, providing early identification of potential problems and the subsequent development of evidence-based interventions to address delays in development. The following chapter will provide a rationale for preschool assessment, identify specific domains in need of consideration, and promote the systematic linkage of established interventions to promote children’s intellectual functioning, academic achievement, information processing, and skill development.