Today, neuroscientists are able to show that early experiences actually shape the architecture of the brain and strongly affect whether a child grows up to be a healthy, productive member of society.
The graphic below illustrates that much of a young child's brain synapse formation takes place in the first five years of life. Synapses are what connect our brain cells (neurons). They form a network in the brain. This network influences intellectual capacity, memory, problem solving and language.
Core Concepts in the Science of Early Childhood Development (PDF, 7 pages). Explains key concepts in brain development in Flip Chart Format.
InBrief: The Science of Early Childhood Development (PDF, 2 pages). Addresses basic concepts of early childhood development.
Early Experiences Shape the Brain (PDF, 2 pages). Provides four numbers to remember about early childhood.
Connecting Neurons, Concepts and People (PDF, 2 pages). Summarizes what is known about early brain development and corrects common misunderstandings.