Children's brains are built, moment by moment, as they interact with their environment. In the first years of life, more than a million neural connections are formed per second, a rhythm that never repeats itself. This is an incredible opportunity for growth and development, and the quality of a child's early experiences makes a fundamental difference as their brain develops, providing strong or weak foundations for lifelong learning, health, and behavior. Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and saying goodbye with your hand are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in the way they play, learn, talk, behave, and move (e.g.
crawling and walking). It is mainly the family that provides the care that children need to develop in the early years. However, many parents and other caregivers need support to put this into practice. Therefore, the guide contains four recommendations addressed to caregivers, health professionals and other workers who can help them, as well as policy makers and other stakeholders. The recommendations relate to providing responsive attention and activities for early learning during the first 3 years of life; including responsive care and early learning as part of interventions for optimal nutrition of infants and young children; and integrating interventions Psychosocial Support for Maternal Mental Health in Early Childhood Health and Development Services.
Investing in the early years is one of the smartest things a country can do to eliminate extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity, and create the human capital needed for economies to diversify and grow. Early childhood experiences have a profound impact on brain development, affecting learning, health, behavior and ultimately productivity and income. Enabling young children to achieve their full development potential is a human right and an essential requirement for sustainable development. UNICEF works with governments, business, civil society and academia to strengthen these systems so that children receive the services they need for their development needs, and to ensure that institutions that shape the lives of children and families work together to create an enabling environment for them. This learning is the foundation for your child's development of communication, behavior, social and other skills. For children to reach their full potential, as is their human right, they need medical care and nutrition, protection from harm and a sense of security, opportunities for early learning, and responsive care such as talking, singing and playing with parents and caregivers who love them. In addition, exposure to environmental hazards such as lead in the home can adversely affect a child's health and cause delays in cognitive development.
A Comparison of School Readiness Outcomes of Children Randomly Assigned to a Head Start Program and the Program Waiting List shows that parents, grandparents, early childhood care providers, and other caregivers can participate in developmental monitoring which watches how their child grows and changes over time and if their child meets typical developmental milestones by playing, learning, talking, behaving, and moving. These factors and stressors can affect the brain and severely compromise the child's growth and physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive development. The socioeconomic status of young children's families and communities also significantly affects their educational outcomes. Evidence shows that experiences in early and middle childhood are extremely important for a child's healthy development and lifelong learning. Through the Strategic Impact Assessment Fund (SIEF), an initiative funded by the UK's FCDO (Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office) and CIFF (Children's Investment Fund Foundation), the World Bank Group also supports strong early childhood education impact assessments in dozens of countries around the world. Health Minor childhood illnesses such as colds earaches gastroenteritis generally have no long-term effect on development. Promoting optimal child development involves coordinated efforts across health nutrition education child protection social protection systems and beyond.