Brain Development and Early Childhood Education
Babies begin to learn about the world around them from a very early age. Children’s early experiences – the bonds they form with their parents and their first learning experiences – deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. Learning starts in infancy, long before formal education begins, and continues throughout life. A young child's brain needs certain types of stimulation to develop properly. Without that stimulation, certain types of learning will not be possible when the child enters school. Experts tell us that 90% of all brain development occurs by the age of five. If we don't begin thinking about education in the early years, our children are at risk of falling behind by the time they start Kindergarten. This is why Early Childhood Education is so important. Infants and toddlers learn about themselves and their world during interactions with others. Brain connections that lead to later success grow out of nurturing, supportive and predictable care. This type of caregiving fosters child curiosity, creativity and self-confidence. Young children need safety, love, conversation and a stimulating environment to develop and keep important synapses in the brain. During the first 3 years of life, children experience the world in a more complete way than children of any other age. The brain takes in the external world through its system of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. This means that infant social, emotional, cognitive, physical and language development are stimulated during multisensory experiences. Infants and toddlers need the opportunity to participate in a world filled with stimulating sights, sounds and people. Before children are able to talk, emotional expressions are the language of relationships. Research shows that infants' positive and negative emotions, and caregivers' sensitive responsiveness to them, can help early brain...
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