The first 6 years of a child's life are known as formative years which are recognized as notableyears for brain growth and development. Recent neuroscience researches particularly on brain have confirmed that over 85 % of the child cumulative brain development occurs at the age of 6 and has fully become evident out of numerous national and international studies on the learning outcomes of children of the age group of 3-6 years. A study conducted by the NCERT titled” The impact of preschool education on retention in primary grades” (1992) on 30,000 children illustrated strong and direct correlations between exposure to preschool education and retention rates, attendance rates and most significantly the learning outcomes at primary school level and beyond that. Various global studies have also revealed that investments in ECCE gives the best chance for children to grow up into good, moral, thoughtful, creative, empathetic, and productive human beings.
In Himachal Pradesh, a total of 10623 Primary Schools impart education from 1-5 classes.To promote the achievement level, young children deserve an enthusiastic support in life and they need quality early education experiences, especially in the early ages, so that they grow, learn, develop and flourish holistically. Several researches conducted in this direction have suggested that the quality of early years learning experiences has significant impact on school readiness and the learning levels of children in later schooling. For achieving the Universalization of Elementary Education, Universalization of Early Year Education is a pre-requisite. There is need for children to be provided with developmentappropriate early learning opportunities at preschool and early primary stage in continuum.
Keeping in view thesignificance of preschool education, Government of Himachal Pradesh has started Pre Primary classes in 3391 Primary Schools across the state in financial year 2018-19 in first phase.
The programme was launched by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Sh. Jai Ram Thakur in the presence of Hon’ble Education Minister Sh. Suresh Bhardwaj and other dignitarieson 8th October, 2018 from Bagsiad, District Mandi H.P.
In the year 2019-20, 349 schools were added in second phase and in the third phase 100 more schools are being added in the year 2020-21. Now this programme is running in 3840 schools across the state.