The Science of Early Child Development

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This article explains how the science of early brain development can inform investments in early childhood, and helps to illustrate why child development is a foundation for a prosperous and sustainable society. Fist, brains are built over time, from the bottom up. The early years of human development establish the basic architecture and function of the brain.

The architecture and function of the brain is sculpted by a lifetime of experiences which affect the architecture and function of neurobiological pathways. Second, the interactive influences of genes and experience shape the developing brain. How the brain grows is strongly affected by the child’s experiences with other people and the world. Positive or negative experiences can add up to shape a child’s development and can have lifelong effects. Third, the brain’s capacity for change decreases with age and is most flexible, or “plastic” early in life to accommodate a wide range of environments and interactions. Fourth, cognitive, emotional, and social capacities are inextricably intertwined throughout the life course.

A balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive, and language development will best prepare all children for success in school and later in the workplace and community. And last, toxic stress weakens the architecture of the developing brain, which can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health. Toxic stress caused by extreme poverty, repeated abuse, or severe maternal depression and occurs when the body’s response system to stress is activated much of the time.

The early years of a child’s life is very important and can have lifelong impact. While the brain continues to develop and change into adulthood, the first few years can build a foundation for future learning, health and life success. Nurturing and responsive care for the child’s body and mind is the key to supporting healthy brain development. The loving, nurturing relationship that parents, family members, and teachers provide can act as a buffer to the effects of toxic stress.

As an ECE educator, I should have a solid understanding of how young brains develop and grow can make informed choices in my work for children. Teachers who have the knowledge and skills to provide responsive interactions will help to shape the physical architecture of a child’s brain so that he or she will be fully able to learn now, in school, and beyond.

Cite this paper

The Science of Early Child Development. (2020, Dec 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-science-of-early-child-development/



What is science concept in early childhood?
Science concept in early childhood refers to the basic understanding of scientific principles and processes that young children develop through exploration, observation, and experimentation. It lays the foundation for future learning in science and other related fields.
What is the science of child development?
The science of child development is the study of how children grow and change. It looks at how they learn and develop new skills.
What is the study of early childhood development?
The study of early childhood development is the study of how children develop physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially from birth to age five.
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