The experiences young children receive in the first three years of life are crucial to brain development. When a child receives loving care and stimulation, connections are formed between brain cells. These connections physically wire the brain. It is primarily the early experiences that largely determine the strength and function of the brain's wiring system. Warm responsive parents, who cuddle and talk to their children and provide fun learning experiences, promote healthy brain development for their children.
Technology allows the study of the brain, like we've never seen before. Scientific research demonstrates that a child's early development is determined by his daily environment and experiences, rather than genetics alone. For us to provide the best for all children, we must all understand how a child's brain works and develops. It is critical that this information becomes common knowledge.
Our education system and entire society cannot afford to continue to allow large numbers of children to miss out on the positive experiences they need in infancy and early childhood; the costs in terms of lost potential and increasing rates of emotional and behavioral problems, are too high. Brain research show us what children need; our challenge is to ensure that every child receives it!
Photo by Anissa Thompson