Published: July 6, 2016
As you know, First 5 Sonoma County's mission is to maximize the healthy development of all Sonoma County children from the prenatal stage through age five through support, education and advocacy. We are not alone in this mission. Zero to Five published the results of their research effort and we would like to share their report.
"So much more is known now than a generation ago about how and when brain architecture is built and how deeply it is influenced by early experiences. During the first 1,000 days of life, 700 neural connections are formed in the brain every second. This is the time of greatest opportunity and highest risk. We know for certain now that the way adult caregivers, parents in particular, interact with children during the first 5 years can actually shape their brain architecture for life—for better and for worse. Children who have nurturing connections and positive early experiences have more secure, healthy relationships and are more likely to do well academically and socially into adulthood than children who experience insensitive or harsh caregiving, which can lead to school failure, depression, anxiety, drug abuse, teen pregnancy and more.
"But is this information about early, rapid brain growth—and how it is influenced by the quality of caregiving young children receive—reaching the people who need it most? If we care about babies and toddlers, we need to care about, listen to and meet the needs of their parents. Any effort to nurture and support young children, and to set them up for success in the long term, will be strengthened by helping their parents put this valuable brain science into action.
"That’s why ZERO TO THREE, with the support and collaboration of the Bezos Family Foundation, undertook a comprehensive research effort to go directly to parents of young children—largely Millennials and Gen-X mothers and fathers—to gain a clear and in-depth understanding about the challenges they face, the help they seek and how satisfied they are with the support and information they receive."
Read the complete report here