Background: Early childhood is the crucial period in forming children's learning modalities. Various innovations are carried out to optimize early childhood development. Studies on the early childhood development in the tahfidz program school in Indonesia are still few and limited. This study investigates the relationship between Quran memorization and early childhood development in six aspects: religious and moral values, physical-motoric, social-emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and art.
Method: A total of 316 kindergarten children between the age of 60 to 84 months were involved in the study. The study consists of Group A (n = 155) with memorization of 0 up to 20 chapters, and Group B (n = 161) with minimum memorization was 21 up to 37 chapters. Data of Quran memorization and development aspects were obtained from the classroom teachers. The development aspects indicators including developed very well, developed as expected, starting to develop, and undeveloped. It was then converted and processed in the form of a rating scale. The analysis was carried out using the Mann-Whitney test. Group A showed better development outcomes in the mean ranks of each aspect than Group B.
Result: Group A's early childhood development achievements were better than Group B. The childhood development comparison aspects between the two study groups showed religious and moral values (p=0.001), physical-motoric (p=0.001), social-emotional (p=0.001), cognitive (p=0.002), linguistic (p=0.045), and art (p=0.001). Meanwhile, there was no significant difference in comparing cognitive and linguistic aspects between boys and girls in each group (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The study implication was focused on brain workload management strategies based on the neuroscience approach. Appropriate learning support and strategy are required for children with more Quran memorization to prevent disproportionate childhood development.