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The First Years Matter

90% of a child's brain development happens before age 5


The First Years Matter

Research and science tells us that the first years, a child’s brain is rapidly developing and is the most critical time for healthy development. About 90% of the brain is developed by age 5 and the experiences during this time is built into the brain.

The first years are the most crucial to a child’s healthy development. During this period, one million brain connections form every second, laying a foundation for social emotional development, learning and skill-building.  

Connections that are used are strengthened, while those that aren’t stimulated are lost through a natural process called pruning. This means that helping our children build strong brains means giving them stimulating learning opportunities and nurturing, responsive relationships—from day one. Watch this great "Brain Builders" video to learn more.

Getting kids ready for school means more than helping them with their ABCs, packing their lunches, filling their backpacks and getting them to the bus on time. It starts the day they're born with quality early experiences. When you talk, read, and sing with your child—even before she can use words—you’re building her brain and helping to prepare her for success in school and in life. To learn more about this, visit the Talking is Teaching website!

High Quality Child Care Matters

Ensuring families have access to high quality child care is not just a nice idea. The research is clear that children who have high quality early learning and development opportunities experience greater success in school, relationships, and life. High-quality programs have nurturing, professional caregivers who are educated in early childhood learning and development. They maintain the highest level of safety and cleanliness in accordance with state and federal regulations, and offer a cheerful, child-centered environment that includes outdoor space. High-quality programming incorporates play-based activities that enrich and promote learning and development so children get the best preparation for life.