Early Childhood Development
“Research has consistently shown that good early childhood development will have a direct positive impact on a child’s long-term health outcomes and will improve future opportunities, school attainment and even earning potential."
- Future Learn
The importance of
Early Childhood Development
According to Center of Child Development at Harvard University healthy development in the early years provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, lifelong health, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation.
The Architecture of the Brain
The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2022provides the science behind the architecture of the brain. Genes provide the basic blueprint, but experiences shape the process that determines whether a child's brain will provide a strong or weak foundation for all future learning, behavior and health. During this important period of brain development, billions of brain cells called neurons send electrical signals to communicate with each other. These connections form circuits that become the basic foundation of brain architecture. Circuits and connections proliferate at a rapid pace and are reinforced through repeated use. Our experiences and environments dicatate which circuits and connections get more use. Connection that are used more get stronger, meanwhile connections that are used less fade away (pruning). Simple circuits form first, providing a foundation for more complex circuits to build on later. Through this process, neurons form strong circuits and connections for emotions, motor skills, behavioral control, logic, language, and memory during the early critical period of development. With repeated use, these circuits become more efficient and connect to more areas of the brain more rapidly.
The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) mission shares the same values as Letters to Hope such as ensuring all children from birth through age five have equitable access to affordable, comprehensive, high-quality care and education to support their healthy development and help them achieve their full potential in school and life.
FFYE states that during the first five years, a child’s brain is at its most flexible, making this a critical period for learning and growth. Science tells us that children who face adversity in the first years of life are more at risk for experiencing lifelong effects from toxic stress. Prolonged stress during childhood can do damage to a child’s brain architecture, which can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior and physical and mental health.
Prevention through high-quality early learning and care provides the support children need to build a foundation for a healthy and productive future (FFYE). Supportive, responsive relationships with caring adults as early in life as possible can prevent or reverse the damaging effects of toxic stress in children. Often, these relationships exist between parent and child, but many children experience these “serve and return” interactions with other adults, like teachers. Waiting until kindergarten is too late. Children who receive quality early education demonstrate greater cognitive and socioemotional growth than children who do not (FFYE).
What Letters to Hope can do to help Early Childhood Development
Our organization is currently partnered with a small business called Ready Set Learn. The mission of Ready Set Learn is to promote early childhood development through their interactive hands-on educational binders for children aged 1-6 years old. These binders aid in the development of children's creativity, motor skills, crtical thinking, problem solving, analytical skills and more.
What are the goals of Letters to Hope?
Our goal is to support early childhood development through free group and private tutoring sessions in undeserved communities.
Our students leaders will be equipped with the tools and resources to provide these free services in places such as libraries, parks, or other public places.