Just How Early can Early Learning Begin?

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Elliot 5 monthsI promise you this blog post is not simply an excuse to show the world pictures of my adorable grandson. His picture here is actually on point. Angry Kids & Stressed Out Parents is about the urgency of investing in early childhood. And the more we filmed, it became ever more clear to me just how early!

We filmed Nurse Family Partnership nurses in Tacoma, Washington working with clients. The Nurse Family Partnership began over 30 years ago in the United States and pairs young mums – mostly poor, and often single – with a nurse for the first two years of life. The value of that nurse to the mum and baby, and to society as a whole, is tremendous. http://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/proven-results. (The Nurse Family Partnership is now a province-wide pilot program in BC.)

The nurses taught these young mums to read to their babies while still in the womb. Yes babies even before they are born, begin learning. For proof, check out this video from the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences : http://ilabs.washington.edu/i-labs-news/new-research-while-womb-babies-begin-learning-language-their-mothers

That’s why in Angry Kids & Stressed Out Parents you’ll see babies as young as three months enrolled in the Abecedarian Preschool, a groundbreaking early intervention for primarily poor First Nations kids in Winnipeg, the only one of its kind in Canada. The evidence is now overwhelming. Forty years of longitudinal research combined with startling advances in technology that allow scientists to actually see the impact of stimulation on a child’s developing brain, prove the more nurturing, warmth and attachment a child has before age three, the better he or she does in life.

And we’re talking human-to-human learning not human-to-screen. Propping the toddler up by the iPad or the Baby Einstein video doesn’t cut it, says Dr. Mark Greenberg, one of the experts in our film:

Mark Greenberg: Young Children Need to Interact with Humans, Not Screens

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