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High-Quality Childcare Leads to Healthy Brain Development

The most critical and rapid period of brain development takes place between birth and age five. Nutritious food and adequate sleep play critical roles during this time, as do the interactions that young children have with their caregivers. Being talked to, played with, and engaged by the people who take care of them, both at home and at daycare, allows young children’s brains to make and refine the important neural connections that they will rely on for life. This wbur article and segment, with interviews from long-term childcare providers and neuroscience experts, discusses the importance of quality childcare for developing, young brains.

Take a look:

How child care can build kids' brains, one interaction at a time

Tsifira drops a plastic strawberry into a little plastic container. It makes a hollow sound, and the almost-2-year-old lets out a "Wow!"

“Wow! You put one strawberry in,” said a smiling Deneen Coren, her teacher. In a toddler room at Horizons for Homeless Children in Roxbury, Tsifira and Coren peer into a bin of rice and colorful toy food, tuning out the din of the classroom around them.

“We are present,” said Coren. “We're not distracted by other things. We are here to sit on the floor and engage and talk and listen.”

Coren, who has worked in early childhood education for nearly 30 years, said uninterrupted, focused time with each child is vital to brain development. And researchers agree.

Image via wbur


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