Wondering about your child’s development and how you can make sure they have the best chance at becoming everything you know they can? Here are a few interesting facts:
- What happens during a child’s early years affects the rest of their life, and the first five years are most important.
- Issues that proper early childhood care can help prevent include learning disabilities, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, as well as social issues of crime, teen pregnancy, alcoholism and drug abuse.
- The brain grows most rapidly between birth to age five.
- Once a child’s brain connections are formed, they are difficult to change.
- All physical and mental stimulation – playing, reading, talking to – helps a child’s development.
- Only 5% of children are born with developmental delays. However, 25-30% of NWT students are functioning below grade level by Grade One, a situation parents and caregivers can change.
- Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can affect a child’s development, even before it’s born.
- Both mothers and fathers are integral to a child’s development.
- A parent’s poor mental health can affect a child’s development.
- If parents and single parents build a network of extended family and community members to help as caregivers, this can improve the chance of a child’s proper development.
- James Heckman, an economist and Nobel Prize winner, has calculated that spending $1 on early childhood programs pays the same dividend as $3 on school-age programs and $8 on education for adults.