Early childhood education | Lifestyles

In fact, early experiences, whether positive or negative, can follow a child throughout his/her lifetime. Each positive interaction with a baby or young child is an opportunity to learn and build trust, which sets the stage for future learning and school success. Conversely, exposure to excessive stress, fear and anxiety can add up over time to impede a child’s development and ability to learn.

The connection between a child’s early experiences and the lifelong impacts that follow brings to light the critical role of early care and education programs.

According to research, investment in high-quality early education programs pays-off. Professor James Heckman at the University of Chicago has found, “the rate of return for investment in quality early childhood education is 13% per annum through better outcomes in education, health, sociability, economic productivity and reduced crime.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, which has been conducting research into this topic

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Tired of Playing Pretend With Your Kids? Childhood Development Experts Have Some Advice for You

As families spend more time at home together due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, parents of preschoolers have found themselves echoing a similar refrain: My kid wants to play pretend all the time. Some find it easy, others think it’s tedious, but, as parents spend more and more time in their kids’ pretend worlds, questions have popped up about what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to pretend play.

a young boy in a blue shirt: It's easy to get fatigued when you're playing the same games on a loop, but pretend play is really beneficial for kids. Here's what childhood development experts have to say.

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It’s easy to get fatigued when you’re playing the same games on a loop, but pretend play is really beneficial for kids. Here’s what childhood development experts have to say.

The good news (or not, depending on your skills at imbibing fake tea): Pretend play is enormously beneficial for kids. “A child’s imaginative and creative play is essential for the development of their social, emotional and cognitive skills, in addition to being a way to explore

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How the pandemic hurts childhood brain development

DANGER: Deadly coronavirus. Wear a face mask.

These stark words are spelled out in large letters to protect children as they enter a community playground. But the biggest danger to our children isn’t the possibility of contracting the virus on a playground. As we protect our children from becoming infected, and from infecting vulnerable family members, we are overlooking a far greater danger to the children themselves: stress.

Stress related to the coronavirus in both public and private spaces — along with the disruption of home and school environments — is compromising the development of brain systems and cognitive skills needed for success in school and life. We know this from decades of neuroscience research on the effects of poverty, trauma and violence on brain development.

But there is also some promising news: Neuroscience has provided us with programs to mitigate the stress effects of Covid-19.

We write from years

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