Early Childhood Brain Development
By the age of 3, a child’s brain is 80% developed. The brain develops with experiences, both positive and negative, and those experiences guide the growth and health of individuals across the lifespan. Nurturing and responsive care builds child resiliency in the brain and is the key to supporting healthy brain development.
How do you know if you and your child are on track?
There are two key elements to child brain development, first, pay attention to your child’s overall development and celebrate their developmental milestones, such as taking a first step, waving “bye bye” or learning to share with other children. When your child may not be reaching their milestones, reach out and talk to your child’s doctor. Secondly, practice small moments throughout the day where you intentionally connect with your child, such as reading a book, playing peek-a-boo, or listening and responding to their sounds or chatter. The small moments add up and build healthy, resilient brains.
Easy As 1, 2, 3!
Children are born ready to learn, and they depend on parents, family members, and other caregivers as their first teachers to develop the right skills to become independent and lead healthy and successful lives. How the brain grows is strongly affected by the child’s experiences with other people and the world. Nurturing care for the mind is critical for brain growth. This is why 123 Connect with Me was created.
123 Connect with Me is a community campaign driven through partner organizations and designed to help parents and child caregivers understand the strong correlations between healthy human connections and healthy brain development.
Partnering organizations are provided Connect Kits to share 123 Connect with Me resources through their networks. These committed partners have pledged to support the 123 Connect with Me mission, share campaign materials, and provide valuable feedback and insight on their audiences. The campaign messages inspire adults to have positive connections with children every day that feel easy, loving and natural. Connect Kits include but are not limited to downloadable posters, handouts, milestone trackers, social posts and articles written by early childhood experts. New Connect Kit materials and messaging is introduced every 6 months.
The campaign has been a success, meeting all objectives, exceeding all goals and doubling partner participation expectations. Posters and handouts have been distributed to 42 locations including childcare centers, pediatric clinics, libraries and other early childhood sites, and social content has reached more than 35,000 accounts across all platforms.
123 Connect with Me is led by Children’s Center for the Child & Community, the community outreach team for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, and is part of a larger early childhood initiative, Help Me Grow Nebraska, which aims to connect parents and caregivers, health care providers, and child-serving organizations to early childhood community resources.