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1 Investing in Our Youngest Learners 0 to 5 year olds The purpose of this video is to share with you the importance of quality early experiences for young.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Investing in Our Youngest Learners 0 to 5 year olds The purpose of this video is to share with you the importance of quality early experiences for young."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Investing in Our Youngest Learners 0 to 5 year olds The purpose of this video is to share with you the importance of quality early experiences for young children and why these experiences are an investment in our future.

2 2 Brain development occurs most rapidly and easily in the first 3 years. By age 2, we have 90% of our eventual brain weight. 85% of a childs intellectual and social development takes place by age 5. The Latest Brain Research Tells Us: These three facts emphasize the importance of what happens during the FIRST 3 YEARS of a childs life.

3 3 Neuron Development 6 Year Old 24-Month Old BabyNewborn Baby3 Month Old Baby Source: Magic Trees of the Mind These are images of the synapses or connectors in a childs brain at various ages.

4 4 As a result of new information, the babys brain grows by creating more synapses or connections to make sense of this information. Newborn Baby3 Month Old Baby As you see in these images, many new connections have been made by only 3 months of age! Each new synapse leads to additional synapses, helping the baby become more and more capable.

5 5 Newborn Baby 3 Month Old Baby24- Month Old By 24 months of age, the number of connections has increased tremendously!

6 6 6 Year Old By 6 years of age, the synapses or connectors begin to decrease. Those that are not used or stimulated are pruned in order to make the brain more efficient. Therefore, it is more difficult to learn new things as there are fewer synapses available, and fewer new connections can be made.

7 7 Nurturing Leads to a Healthier Brain Healthy Child Neglected Child Images of the brain of a healthy child (on the left) and a neglected child (on the right).

8 8 The temporal lobes of the healthy child show much more activity which, in this case, means greater capability. Healthy ChildNeglected Child Notice the temporal lobes in these brain scans Red and yellow indicate activity Red= most activity The temporal lobe is responsible for many functions such as acting in a socially acceptable manner and controlling ones emotions.

9 9 The brain stem of the neglected child shows much more activity. This increased activity actually interferes with the childs ability to learn. The childs brain is so focused on safety/survival that it is difficult to focus on learning. Healthy ChildNeglected Child Notice the brain stems in these brain scans Red and yellow indicate activity Red=most activity The brain stem is responsible for many functions including the flight and flight response for survival.

10 10 Healthy ChildNeglected Child Overall, there is much more activity (color) in the brain of a healthy child. This indicates a greater capacity for learning. A childs environment does impact brain development.

11 11 What Do Young Children Need to Grow Up Ready to Learn? Healthy mother and prenatal care A childs prenatal experiences can also impact brain development. Substances such as alcohol and tobacco can have a negative impact on a childs health and development. Nurturing relationships with caregivers Parent/caregiver relationships with children have been found to have significant impacts on areas such as language, physical growth, learning, and social-emotional development.

12 12 Safe & healthy environment- Stable home life Some children live in chaotic environments. A child who can rely on a safe, predictable environment and caring adults feels secure and able to explore and learn. Immunizations and regular check-ups A child needs to receive regular health and dental care, and learn good health habits. Beginning at birth, a child needs regular well-child check-ups with the same doctor to monitor and assure healthy development. What Do Young Children Need to Grow Up Ready to Learn?

13 13 What Do Young Children Need to Grow Up Ready to Learn? Exercise and a well balanced diet Childhood obesity is an epidemic facing our nation. To reduce the risk, our children need to exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, and get enough sleep. Stimulating learning experiences These are opportunities that are consistent with the childs ability to take in and process information. Having someone there to make an over-stimulating environment manageable for the child can also help.

14 14 Where Do Stimulating Learning Experiences Occur? Faith-based programs Preschool Playgroups Playgrounds At home Babysitter Daycare home Childcare center Regardless of the setting, each child must have quality early learning experiences.

15 15 Why are Quality Early Learning Experiences Important? Quality experiences promote motor development Large muscles are used for actions such as walking or bending. Small muscles are used for actions such as pointing, picking up things, and writing.

16 16 Why are Quality Early Learning Experiences Important? Quality experiences promote social and emotional development 0-6 mo - Likes to be near a special person - Gives warm smiles and laughs 6-12 mo - Shows feeling by crying, smiling and pointing - Unsure of strangers 1-2 yr - Is curious and likes to explore people - Plays beside other children Responsive, caring relationships with a parent or caregiver enhance the development of these skills.

17 yr - Begins to take turns - Enjoying the company of others 3-4 yr - Begins to form friendships - Expresses emotions in a healthy way 4-5 yr - Shows empathy for others - Has one or two friends of the same sex Why are Quality Early Learning Experiences Important? Quality experiences promote social and emotional development Opportunities for play and interacting with other children enhance the development of these skills.

18 18 Why are Quality Early Learning Experiences Important? Children have a natural curiosity about the world around them. Opportunities to explore and discover promotes such characteristics and leads to learning and self-expression. Quality experiences promote curiosity and creativity

19 19 Why are Quality Early Learning Experiences Important? Cognitive development is the ability to think, listen, understand others and follow directions. This also includes the way children reason and solve problems. Quality experiences promote cognitive development

20 20 Why are Quality Early Learning Experiences Important? Language development is speaking, listening, sound/letter awareness, grammar (how words go together), and word meaning. Language development is the foundation for the childs later success in reading and writing. Quality experiences promote language development and literacy skills

21 21 The Impact of Quality Early Learning: Opportunity makes a difference. A child between ages 2-5 learns an average of 2-8 new words a day. The more words a child knows, the more words a child will read in the future. 2 words a day x 4 yrs = 2,920 words by kindergarten 8 words a day x 4 yrs = 11,680 words by kindergarten Why the difference? Some children havent had as many experiences to hear and learn new words.

22 22 Quality Early Childhood Experiences Lead to School Success: Children who participated in one early learning program (preschool) increased MEAP test passage by 30% in 4th grade. (Source: MI School Readiness Program) Children who participate in high-quality child care are more likely to attend college. These statistics indicate the lasting impact of quality early experiences on later school performance.

23 23 Where Do We Invest Our $$$ Today? This graph shows that most public funding is spent after a child reaches the age of 5. However, the greatest amount of brain growth (i.e. learning) happens before the age of 5. We need to invest more resources during the first 5 years of life.

24 24 Increases school preparedness Increases long-term economic success Increases post-secondary education Improves occupational success Improves quality of life Benefits of Investing in Quality Early Childhood Development We need to consider the LONG term return on our investment in children. Positive Impact on Child

25 25 Increases earning capacity/income taxes paid Increases job productivity Increases graduation and marriage rates Reduces special education expenses Reduces teen pregnancy rate Reduces crime Reduces poverty Benefits of Investing in Quality Early Childhood Development Positive Impact on Society

26 26 Develops quality workforce Reduces cost of training and retraining Reduces absenteeism on the job Increases worker productivity Increases decision making abilities Increases home ownership and financial responsibility Benefits of Investing in Quality Early Childhood Development Positive Impact on Workplace

27 27 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Great Start Shiawassee We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Coordinates early childhood initiatives

28 28 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Shiawassee ABC We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Offers services to any family with children birth to five years old (e.g. home visits, playgroups)

29 29 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Early On ® We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Serves children birth to three with medical/health conditions and/or developmental delays

30 30 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Head Start We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Offers free preschool for income eligible 3-5 yr olds.

31 31 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Early Head Start We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Offers center-based and home-based child development programs for infants, toddlers and pregnant women

32 32 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Great Start Readiness Programs (GSRP) We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Offers free preschool program for qualifying 4 year-olds

33 33 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Reach Out And Read ® We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Distributes free childrens books through participating Memorial Healthcare physicians who encourage reading to young children

34 34 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Provides support to Medicaid eligible pregnant women and children to promote healthy pregnancies and healthy babies

35 35 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Mother to Mother Program We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Provides breastfeeding support and encouragement to women throughout their infants first year of life

36 36 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Developmental Screening Project We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Provides for developmental screenings by participating physicians during well-baby visits

37 37 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Shiawassee Preschool Scholarship We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Provides scholarships to qualifying families to supplement the cost of a quality preschool experience

38 38 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? Infant Mental Health We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families Provides services for families with children birth to three with mental health needs such as attachment/bonding issues

39 39 What Are We Doing in Shiawassee County? And more… We have several programs that are trying to meet the needs of young children and their families For more information about any of these programs or other available programs or services, contact

40 40 Easy Steps You Can Take to Make a Difference: Learn about the importance of brain development Spend time with your child: play, talk, read a book Find out about programs to support parents & young children Donate books, toys, clothing, money or volunteer at a local early childhood program Provide info to new parents, co-workers and employees Write or your legislator

41 41 For more information about programs and services in Shiawassee County or if you have any questions about early childhood development, call toll free or visit Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the importance of QUALITY early experiences and their impact on a childs development.

42 42 Special thanks to:


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