Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5 Numbers to Know

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University has a new, interactive multi-media presentation entitled “Five Numbers to Remember About Early Child Development”.  The numbers are:

  • 700 Per Second—In a young child’s brain, new neural connections are formed at the rate of 700 per second.  Reciprocal interactions with adults are one of the primary methods through which these neurons develop.
  • 18 Months—By the age of 18 months, disparities in vocabulary, based upon the education level of the child’s parents, begin to appear.  By the age of 3 years, children of college-educated parents may have a vocabulary 2-3 times that of children whose parents have not completed high school.
  • 90-100%—Children who are faced with 6-7 risk factors (poverty, parent/caregiver mental illness, maltreatment, etc.) in the first 3 years of life have a 90-100% chance of developmental delays. 
  • 3:1 Odds—Similarly, children who are faced with 7-8 risk factors are 3 times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease as adults.
  • 4-9 Dollars—Several longitudinal studies on the impact of high-quality early childhood education programs have demonstrated that every dollar invested yields $4-9 in future returns.

So, what does this research tell us?  Early childhood education is extraordinarily important and well worth the investment.  A relatively small investment early in a child’s life can prevent lifelong problems. Children in difficult home environments may need more extensive interventions.  Quality early childhood education benefits not just the child and parents, but all of society.

1 comment:

  1. This is quite an informative blog post. Is it true that if a child doesn't use his brain on spoken languages then after a certain age he will never be able to use his brain to learn the language?

    Kunik Goel