Early Childhood Care Advances Lifelong Learning
Children are born ready to learn. They cultivate 85 percent of their intellect, personality and skills by age five. The first months and years of life set the stage for lifelong development. That is why early childhood represents a window of opportunity for the life time development of an individual.
Humans are born with 100 billion brain cells, which begin connecting, with up to 1,000 trillion connections. The brain operates on a “use it or lose it” principle. Only those connections and path ways that are activated frequently are retained. Other connections that are not consistently used will be discarded so the active connections can become stronger.
For children’s brains to become highly developed for learning, repeated experiences are essential. Connections become stronger and more efficient through repeated use. Reading to children very day, for example, helps strengthen essential connections. Connections are also made stronger when children have daily opportunities to develop both large and small muscle skills, have the chance to practice developing social skills, and interact directly with their environment.