Early childhood is the period from prenatal development to eight years of age. It is a crucial phase of growth and development because experiences during early childhood can influence outcomes across the entire course of an individual’s life. The early childhood years provide an important window of opportunity to explore, play and learn, preparing the foundation for life-long learning, while preventing potential delays in development and disabilities. 

A Strong Foundation Starts in a Healthy Environment...

Research shows that a child’s healthy development happens in a stable, nurturing environment where the child experiences safe and positive experiences. An environment that is  sensitive to a child’s health and nutritional needs, offers opportunities for high quality early learning experiences, and is emotionally supportive and developmentally stimulating. This critical phase of development, when the brain develops most rapidly and  has a high capacity for change, sets the foundation for health and wellbeing throughout life. 

Parent-child interaction matters...

Young children naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures. Adults respond with the same kind of vocalizing and gesturing back at them. In the absence of such responses—or if the responses are unreliable or inappropriate—the brain’s architecture does not form as expected, which can lead to problems in learning and behavior. 

A toxic environment changes the architecture of the brain…

When a child is not raised in a nurturing environment with positive experiences, chronic stress  caused by extreme poverty, repeated abuse, or severe maternal depression, for example, can be toxic to the developing brain. It is easier and more effective to influence a baby’s developing brain architecture than to rewire parts of its circuitry in the later years of life.

According to The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University:

  • The basic principles of neuroscience indicate that early preventive intervention will be more efficient and produce more favorable outcomes than remediation later in life.
  • A balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive, and language development will best prepare all children for success in school and later in the workplace and community.
  • Supportive relationships and positive learning experiences begin at home but can also be provided through a range of services with proven effectiveness factors. Babies’ brains require stable, caring, interactive relationships with adults — any way or any place they can be provided will benefit healthy brain development.
  • Science clearly demonstrates that, in situations where toxic stress is likely, intervening as early as possible is critical to achieving the best outcomes. 
    • For children experiencing toxic stress, specialized early interventions are needed to target the cause of the stress and protect the child from its consequences.



Contact Us

The Libertore Fund For Children
P.O. Box 5415
Lakeland, FL 33807


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