Brain Growth and Development


“The early years of life matter because early experiences affect the architecture of the maturing brain. As it emerges, the quality of that architecture establishes either a sturdy or a fragile foundation for all of the development and behavior that follows -- and getting things right the first time is easier than trying to fix them later.”
- FrameWorks Institute

Investment in early childhood programs and education is an investment in our children’s brains:
Source: Born Learning, United Way of America

  • 90% of the brain develops in the first 5 years.
  • By the age of 5, many children in high-risk environments are already developmentally behind. This gap only grows over time –undermining school readiness and success in life.
  • Kindergarten teachers estimate that 1 in 3 children enter the classroom unprepared to meet the challenges of kindergarten.
  • Some 46% of kindergarteners come to school at risk for failure.
  • The poorest children start kindergarten 1-2 years behind in language and other skills important to school success.

Yet, despite this knowledge, we continue to invest less for this critical time, and put our economic future at risk.