We want a system that builds a foundation for learning and development during a child’s first 1000 days
We all know that the early years matter; we are hard-wired to care for our children. What we did not know, until recently, is how much the earliest years matter.
Advances in science have shown us that the early years are a time of rapid cognitive, linguistic, social-emotional, and motor development. During this time, begining in utero, the architecture of the brain is forming. When children have positive early experiences, such as nurturing, responsive caregivers and language-rich environments, a strong foundation is formed. However, the futures of too many of our children are undermined because of their early childhood experiences.
Some parents do not have the skills or time to interact with children in the positive back-and-forth responses that are shown to produce higher rates of social development and language acquisition. While others are exposed to prolonged, serious stress, such as that caused by abuse and neglect, which causes babies' brains to release a chemical that stunts cell growth.
The cumulative effect of these experiences is that these children are starting school well behind their peers. Without costly intervention, many will never catch up.
There is a better way. We know what types of environments promote optimal child development. We also have specific policy recommendations from reports such as First Words, First Steps, created by the Infant Toddler Working Group for the Connecticut Early Childhood Education Cabinet.
Please consider hosting a community screening of this video. It is an opportunity to bring people together to converse and identify the best approaches to improving our state's early childhood system.
To support your efforts, we offer this video screening toolkit and topic guide.