Early Brain Development
Did you know?
- Parents and caregivers have a positive influence on the brain development of their young children.
Young children benefit when parents and caregivers are provided with education about healthy brain development.
- The first six years of life are the most important for healthy brain development.
Brain development begins at conception and continues into your child’s teenage years. However, children’s brains develop the most during the early years.
- Brain development begins during pregnancy.
Your health before and during pregnancy is very important for your baby�s development. Healthy nutrition, avoiding alcohol and other drugs and seeking regular prenatal care are some of the things you can do to give your child the best start in life.
- Babies are born with over 100 billion brain cells.
As children grow and experience new things, connections are made between these brain cells. Brain cells help control basic functions like breathing as well as complex functions such as intellectual discovery. By about age three, the brain’s cells have made most of their connections to other cells.
- Connections are made when children have new experiences involving their senses.
For brain cells to work, connections between the cells are needed. Cuddling, talking, smiling, and exposing your child to new sights, smells and tastes help create these important brain connections. The more these experiences are repeated, the stronger the connections become.
- Childhood abuse and neglect can slow brain development.
Just as positive early experiences help a child’s brain grow and develop, negative experiences can lead to serious emotional, behavioural, and learning problems.
- The care your child receives from others is equally important for healthy brain development.
Anyone who cares for your young child – family members, friends, child care providers – will have an influence on your child’s life. To help you choose child care that best suits your family’s needs, please visit Child DevelopmentResource Connection Peel.
As a parent or caregiver, it is important to remember that every child is unique. Although children grow and develop at different rates, there are common developmental milestones, that parents and caregivers should watch for in their young children.