Recent research by developmental and educational psychologists and neuroscientists have confirmed what Waldorf Education has known for years. Play is the most important component of early childhood education, and is needed to lay the foundation for the development of thinking as students grow. The Waldorf Early Childhood curriculum is centered around creative play and socialization. The pressure that is being put on young children to perform academically in other educational systems is not a part of Waldorf Education. While children in the early childhood program are provided with experiences that provide the foundation for academics, academic instruction per se is reserved for the grades when children are developmentally ready to use their memory and other capacities in academic learning.