Families

Why Early Childhood Matters

Each child has the potential to do great things. That’s why Wake County SmartStart (WCSS) and its partners in early childhood education want to help you help your child succeed.

The first five years (2000 days) of your child’s life are very important to his/her success in school and beyond. Why? Research has shown that the brain is not fully developed at birth. During this early period in life, the brain grows through sight, sound, talk and touch. A baby’s brain works on learning how to produce words—months before it will begin to talk! Every positive experience that a baby has helps its brain form important connections (also called synapses) that will serve as a strong foundation for that child’s future health and learning.

This video explains how forming these early connections through experiences helps shape the foundation for a child’s future learning, behavior and health.

This graph shows when connections peak for different brain functions:

why early childhood matters

You can see that:

  • Vision and hearing peak at four months
  • Language peaks at nine months
  • Higher brain functions peak at one year

Children who receive a high-quality early childhood education:

  • Perform better in school
  • Stay in school longer, and have a greater chance of attending college
  • Earn more money, pay more taxes and are less likely to rely on government assistance
  • Lead healthier lives
  • Give back to the community

As a parent and your child’s first teacher, you have an exciting opportunity to help “build” your child’s brain by getting connected to early childhood resources. WCSS is happy to help you find programs that provide support with your parenting skills, address your family’s health and well-being and more. Please visit Programs That Help Your Child and Your Family to learn more.