Early education: why is it necessary to give babies a head start?
Early education is one of the most important decisions parents can make. Whether it's the first few years of their life, or starting public school, parent involvement makes a long term impact on a child's development. Numerous studies have shown that early education programs such as Head Start and pre-kindergarten improve cognitive ability and academic achievement.
Every child deserves the best start to life possible. The early years provide a strong base for lifelong learning and learning abilities, including cognitive and social development. Learning is not limited to school or children’s abilities at age five or six, but instead begins in the womb and continues throughout their entire lives. Learning skills are developed through interactions with adults, other children, and the natural world.
Parents with young children often struggle to balance work with taking care of their child and providing them with one-on-one time. Policymakers and parents alike believe this stage in a child’s life is so important that they often argue for increased investments in early childhood education. However, there is a large misconception surrounding what this critical period is.
In early childhood, the brain develops a majority of its neurons through 3 years old. The first three years of life is an incredibly important time for a child's development. In fact, it's been reported that by age 3, a child has developed 80% of their eventual brain capacity. This makes it imperative for parents to engage their children in cognitively stimulating activities starting at birth and continuing throughout these formative years.
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