All children need the same opportunities to have a chance for a life of success determined by their own abilities. Children neither begin nor end their education on an equal footing. Inequities exists
- At the starting gate
- In who attends preschool
- In the quality of the facility
- In who teaches young children
- In the infrastructure that supports early childhood education
- In funding streams
PFC serve in the role as “the great equalizer” by leveling the playing field so all children start school with an equal chance of doing well. Knowledge about brain science and social science research reinforces how vital and foundational those first years are.
- Child development is a foundation for community development and economic development, as capable children become the foundation of a prosperous and sustainable society.
- Brains are built over time.
- The interactive influences of genes and experience literally shape the architecture of the developing brain, and the active ingredient is the “serve and return” nature of children’s engagement in relationships with their parents and other caregivers in their family or community.
- Both brain architecture and developing abilities are built “from the bottom up,” with simple circuits and skills providing the scaffolding for more advanced circuits and skills over time.
- Toxic stress in early childhood is associated with persistent effects on the nervous system and stress hormone systems that can damage developing brain architecture and lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health.
- Creating the right conditions for early childhood development is likely to be more effective and less costly than addressing problems at a later age.