Dr Heena Rachh – Principal, Global Indian International School, Abu Dhabi

A state champion in lawn tennis and accredited long-distance runner, Dr Heena Rachh has been associated with Schools and Community programmes for last 25 years, she launched her career in education after acquiring her bachelor’s in child development from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in India. She was driven by an unflinching conviction that Education can change lives. Her first job, as a primary teacher, was in a school promoted by Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Limited, in coastal town of Veraval in Western Saurashtra, India. Barely a year later, she found herself in the role of the virtual head of the school as she got an opportunity to take lead in day to day management for the school and prepare its strategic development plan.


The quality of early learning experience is critical for a child’s overall development. This is the time their brains develop, which will define their ability to learn, think and behave throughout their life. 

Proleptical brain development forms the pillars of all subsequent learning and behaviour. It is crucial to improve the understanding of this issue and highlight just how instrumental early years development can be in laying the groundwork for a successful future.

It is well-established that the first three years of a child’s life are a crucial period in terms of his/her brain development. During this time, connections are formed between nerve cells which provide the basis for all future learning, health and behaviour. If these connections are strong, a child will be more likely to thrive in all areas of life. Many factors can influence the strength of these connections, but one of the most crucial is the nature of learning experiences in their most impressionable years. Positive experiences such as love, warmth and security help to promote healthy brain development.

It’s evident that early years development is connected closely with early education. As children grow and develop, they benefit greatly from educational experiences that support their cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. The right early years education and care plays a pivotal role in enhancing these qualities. 

An impactful early education provides essential foundation for a child to thrive in society as an adolescent, as a teenager and eventually as a full-grown adult with complete control over his/her ability to think and make life choices, strengthening relationships, developing a sense of empathy towards others, and reducing the likelihood of engaging in unlawful or antisocial behavior. The implications of this connection between early years development and early childhood education are significant

As we all know, young minds are developing rapidly, and they learn best through active engagement with their environment and surroundings. The right choice of education at this age becomes very important, it provides an opportunity for a child to explore, learn and experiment through play, which helps them develop much needed motor skills and critical thinking abilities that are crucial in their later years of their student life.

While we talk about the importance of early years education, it important to understand that many children may not have the access to a good early year education for several reasons like affordability, lack of awareness etc, But nevertheless every child should be afforded the opportunity to benefit from a good education programme during their formative years, regardless of their socioeconomic status. And this is a responsibility on us as educators, country leaders and parents to work towards ensuring access to a child’s educational foundation. 

Given the clear benefits of nascent years development, it is crucial that we do more to support it at an educator level, although it’s important for parents to practice the same at home. We at GIIS, take pride in our award-winning early years curriculum as it follows a multi-discipline approach that is both entertaining and beneficial for the overall development of impressionable young minds. The well-rounded curriculum at GIIS covers all areas of early learning, including language and literacy, mathematical thinking, scientific inquiry, social studies, arts and physical education. In summary, early years learning done right, most definitely lays the groundwork in shaping a child’s social and emotional skills that continue throughout their education and adult life.

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