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Brain Development in Young Children: The Importance of Early Experiences

Jun 04, 2021    |   Research Updates for ECE Educators

A recent article from Edutopia, written by Rishi Sriram, associate professor in the School of Education at Baylor University, highlights the importance of early experiences for young children. The article explains that the brain develops in spurts called “critical periods.” The first critical period begins around 2-years-old and lasts until about 7-years-old, while the second occurs later in life, during adolescence.

Because of the way the brain develops, this first critical period “provides a prime opportunity to lay the foundation for a holistic education for children.” Sriam adds that “two-year-olds have twice as many synapses as adults. Because these connections between brain cells are where learning occurs, twice as many synapses enable the brain to learn faster than at any other time of life. Therefore, children’s experiences in this phase have lasting effects on their development.”

This article is a reminder of just how important your work is! Supporting children during the early stages of life sets up the foundation for later learning and development. Click here to find the full article, including some of the author’s tips for maximizing this critical period.

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