04 Nov The Lancet Early Childhood Development Series
“The human brain develops faster after conception and through the ages of 2-3 than at any other time in life. It is also the time when we respond most readily to interventions. Young children’s healthy development depends on nurturing care—defined as care which ensures health, nutrition, responsive caregiving, safety and security, and early learning.
- Early childhood development starts at conception, and is influenced by the health of both the mother and the father. When children thrive in their early years, they are able to reach their full development potential as adults, and their own children are more likely to reach their full potential as well
- The first three years are particularly critical, as it is a period of rapid brain development and learning. New evidence about early development, particularly from the neurosciences and epigenetics, highlights how sensitive children are to environmental influences in their first 2-3 years of life. Developing secure attachments with their caregivers helps children develop resilience in the face of adversities
- Early childhood development programs and interventions such as breastfeeding, play and stimulation, support health and nutrition, protect children against stress, increase learning at home, and lay the foundation for learning in school”.