Quality early learning and child development can open the doors of opportunity for every child to do well in school, in the workforce, and in life. But quality early learning requires the commitment of families, teachers and the community in order for children to reach their promise. Children learn best when they have proper health and nutrition, a safe and stable family and home life, and activities that stimulate creativity, curiosity, and all the skills they will need to succeed in school and life. Research has taught us that the earliest years of childhood are critically important to children’s long term development. When children are thriving, their parents can provide for and support a more stable family. Quality education for our children today prepares them for high quality jobs tomorrow. A high quality workforce empowers Pennsylvania to compete nationally and globally, improving the quality of life for all.
A child's brain develops so rapidly in their first years, it's almost impossible for us to imagine. By age five, about 90% of our brains are developed. The circuits for key functions such as vision/hearing, language, and higher cognitive function develop most in the first five years of life. The creation of these circuits is affected by a child’s early learning environment. Bad experiences actually chew away at brain connections, while good quality experiences spur healthy development. After age five, the number of new connections slows, making it more difficult to build the necessary cognitive and social skills. Essentially our children’s early experiences will affect their brain development and learning for life.