Start Smart with an Early Focus
Learning starts in infancy, long before formal education begins, and continues throughout life. Early learning begets later learning and early success breeds later success. Early childhood interventions of high quality have lasting effects on learning and motivation.
The interactive inﬂuences of genes and experience shape the developing brain. Scientists now know a major ingredient in the developmental process is what has been called a “serve and return” relationship between children and their parents and other caregivers in the family or community. Young children naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures, and adults respond with similar kinds of vocalizing and gesturing back at them. In the absence of such responses – or if the responses are unreliable or inappropriate – the brain’s architecture does not form as expected, which can lead to disparities in learning and behavior.
The basic principle of neuroscience indicates that providing supportive conditions for early childhood development is more effective and less costly than attempting to address the consequences of early adversity later. To this end, a balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive and language development will best prepare all children for success in school and later in the workplace and community.
From pregnancy through early childhood, all of the environments in which children live and learn, and the quality of their relationships with adults and caregivers, have a signiﬁcant impact on their cognitive, emotional and social development. We promote a safe, supportive environment and stable, caring relationships that children need.