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We have news articles for and about Head Start staff. Check it out! Read a few of the success stories we have received from parents and Head Start staff.

Why is Early Childhood Important?

"Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." – Walt Disney

A child’s cognitive development during early childhood, which includes building skills such as pre-reading, language, vocabulary, and numeracy, begins from the moment a child is born. Developmental scientists have found that the brain acquires a tremendous amount of information about language in the first year of life even before infants can speak. By the time babies utter or understand their first words, they know which particular sounds their language uses, what sounds can be combined to create words, and the tempo and rhythm of words and phrases.

There is a strong connection between the development a child undergoes early in life and the level of success that the child will experience later in life. For example, infants who are better at distinguishing the building blocks of speech at 6 months are better at other more complex language skills at 2 and 3 years of age and better at acquiring the skills for learning to read at 4 and 5 years of age. Not surprisingly, a child’s knowledge of the alphabet in kindergarten is one of the most significant predictors of what that child’s tenth grade reading ability will be.

When young children are provided an environment rich in language and literacy interactions and full of opportunities to listen to and use language constantly, they can begin to acquire the essential building blocks for learning how to read. A child who enters school without these skills runs a significant risk of starting behind and staying behind.

Source – Good Start, Grow Smart, The Bush Administration’s Early Childhood Initiative