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Nurturing 21st Century in the Early Years.

Early years education must now, more than ever, move towards experiential, exploration, and inquiry-based learning.

We live in an era when AI has made everything around us smart, from phones to homes, healthcare, finance, entertainment, and even education. Generation Beta, i.e., those children born between 2025 and 2039, are the first AI generation and are heavily influenced by everything smart. As technology continues to shape our future, it becomes increasingly important to equip our children with the right skills and opportunities to learn and adapt in this evolving world.

Gone are the days when children only gained structured knowledge in school, and the educator was the sole source of knowledge. Now, infinite information is available at our fingertips at any time. Children must learn flexibility, communication, and collaboration skills to problem-solve and show adaptability and resilience to change and challenge. To achieve this, educators and parents must join hands to provide the right environment for a child to exercise and develop these 21st Century skills. By working together and addressing needs, children become ready to function fully, explore their environment, and engage better with others.


It breaks away from the traditional approach of memorisation or rote learning to a more active method of learning any new concept through analysis and evaluation before concluding.

For example, what if a child from an early age becomes accustomed to taking a step back, evaluating and analysing their options and their choices before answering any decision-making question? Teaching them to compare and contrast the alternatives instead of jumping to a reflexive response helps them give an informed answer.

The consistency in being exposed to this process would help a child’s brain develop analytical and critical thinking from a young age to the extent that it becomes second nature to them; and all this through exploration and experimentation.

Major players in the early childhood ecosystem such as Kido International, and others believe that guiding children to think more skilfully will make them understand a concept in a deeper and more enriching way.


For young children today, gadgets and devices are a natural part of life; thus, introducing them to digital literacy is imperative. Instilling the right balance and approach towards screen and device use is paramount.

Parents and educators must equip children with digital safety knowledge and strategies. In today’s technology-driven world, helping children digitally safeguard themselves improves their knowledge of the online world. Teaching young learners to seek valuable information will help them navigate their way to the right answers as they grow. When parents and educators work together to teach healthy internet usage habits early on, children become better equipped with digital tools as they age.


As we prepare ourselves and our young learners for an unforeseeable future, it is equally important that we instil skills related to emotional literacy and self-regulation within our children.

Helping children identify, name and associate situations with specific feelings will help them learn how to regulate and manage those when required.

Additionally, it builds emotional sensitivity and teaches them sympathy and empathy while communicating with others. Being in tune with one’s emotions ultimately leads to self-awareness, stronger self-esteem and self-confidence, forming healthy relationships and higher resilience.

Early years education must now, more than ever, needs to move towards experiential, exploration and inquiry-based learning. We must do so to help children connect with the content and formulate the right questions that will make them curious and critical thinkers.

Educators must undergo rigorous training and professional development that will provide them with practical tools and knowledge to support Generation Beta’s needs in the classrooms. At the same time, parents also need to develop their flexibility, collaboration skills, empathy and emotional literacy to become the guiding mentors children need.

Published By: Vaishnavi Parashar

Published On: Mar 19, 2024