Advances in neuroscience point to an unwavering truth: at birth, children possess enormous potential.
Through dynamic interplay of genes and environment, young brains are built from the bottom up - a process that begins in early childhood and continues into adolescence and early adulthood. During the first few years of a life, a child's brain develops at a rate of 700 neural connections per second - laying the groundwork for learning, behavior and health.
Early childhood is a critical window for children and families alike because of the vital role that relationships play in building brain architecture. We also know from longitudinal research that investing in early learning programs and opportunities - enabling more children to start life with a strong foundation - pays enormous future dividends. And yet, we are sobered by the reality that far too many children operate at a deficit in the earliest years.
We seek to dramatically improve the quality of early learning environments and the number of children who have access to rich early learning opportunities, whether they are at home, in informal care or center-based settings.
We look to science to provide new approaches to old problems by investing in basic developmental brain research that advances our understanding of how young children learn and develop, and support the translation of that research to key stakeholders and practitioners.
Drawing from the latest findings in applied research and advances in neuroscience, we support innovative programs with promising evidence that provide a direct benefit to young children and invest in lasting support systems for parents and caregivers, including communications and public awareness efforts.