A large and growing body of research shows that investing in high-quality early childhood programs yields benefits for children, schools, and communities. Recent brain research challenges the notion that the genes we are born determine our brain development. How a brain develops hinges on a complex interplay between genes you’re born with and the experiences you have. Early experiences have an impact on the architecture of the brain. Neurologists tell us that the experiences children have in the first years of life affect their abilities and behaviors throughout childhood and into adulthood.
Check out this amazing video of Duke Men’s Basketball Coach K advocating for early education. This is not an endorsement of the organization referenced in the video, but a commendation on the message related to ensuring that every child starts out with the necessary skills to succeed in school and in life.
Learn more about:
Early Brain Development
Early Childhood Program Outcomes
Economic return on investment
Tim Bartik, an economist with the W.E. Upjohn Institute and author of Investing in Kids, provides an amazing overview of the research on early education in response to several recent news stories.
Being an advocate for young children is an important way that you can contribute.
As an individual, business or organization you can…
Write a letter-to-the-editor about young children’s issues in your community.
Contact local media and ask them to explore programs supporting early childhood development.
Find out where elected officials stand on early childhood services and programs.
Educate elected officials about the importance of early childhood development.
Ask elected officials to support programs that provide services for young children and their families.
Participate in partnerships with community sectors to improve programs and services for young children and their families.
Initiate partnerships with community sectors to improve programs and services for young children and their families.
Host or sponsor community forums on early childhood topics, such as brain development, parenting programs, quality child care, or access to health care.
Publish articles about the importance of the early years.
Work with media to publicize local programs that offer parent education, family support, early care and education, and health services.
Form family support groups.
Inform others in your organization/business about the importance of the first years of life.
Provide family insurance coverage that includes prenatal and maternity care, well child, mental health care and immunizations.
Conduct surveys or focus groups to learn about the needs of families with young children.
Inform the public about the importance of the early years on advertisements, promotions and products.
Include information about healthy early childhood development in professional training and education programs.
Invite local speakers to offer parenting seminars.
Communicate concern about the importance of the early years to policy makers.
Collect information about local early childhood needs and resources, family activities, and initiatives.
Publicize the importance of the first years of life.
Encourage families to read to their children, beginning at birth and throughout childhood. Support
Fund Public awareness efforts about the importance of early childhood development.
Celebrate and honor community leaders and organizations that are making a difference for young children and their families.
Honor and reward volunteers who provide or improve early childhood programs and services.
Provide long-term financial support for early childhood development efforts.