Supporting Brain Development
The years between birth and age six are a time when crucial physical and social development takes place.
The quality of interactions that children have with their environment shape their brain and consequently their behaviours.
Lots of children spend substantial portions of their day in childcare, making the childcare setting particularly important for establishing healthy behaviours and supporting physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.
These interactions can impact their later health, emotional, and social outcomes.
How connections form in children’s brains:
Interactions with their environment, new experiences and learning helps children build connections within their brains. The development of the brain can be likened to the growth of a tree.
After the early years, the connections built in the brain will be pruned like the branches of a tree so that only the strong, more frequently used connections remain. Hopefully, these more frequently used connections will be the ones grounded in healthy behaviours.
We need to help grow and nurture the brain as much as possible in the early years, by providing children with opportunities and experiences, so children have a well-developed and healthy brain to work with later in life.