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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Opportunity to Share Information!

We need to spread the word that the earliest weeks matter!
Many thanks to Saroj Ghoting, Early Literacy Consultant (and popular workshop presenter) for pointing out the interesting results of a Zero to Three parent survey.  Major points are summarized here, and the full report is here.

The information reported here shows that there is definitely a need for us to share information with parents and caregivers about critical development periods for infants and toddlers!  Below, I'm basically quoting a post Saroj made on an ALSC listserv:

The time of most rapid brain development occurs during the first 3 years. While 63% of parents identified this correctly, more than 34% said that the time of most rapid brain growth is 3 to 5 years, a significant underestimation of the importance of the earliest years.  Parents overall consistently underestimate just how early children can be affected by some critical experiences:

  • When asked at what age the quality of a parent’s care has a long-term impact on a child’s development, 50% of parents said this begins at 6 months or older, 57% of parents say it begins at 3 months or older.  It starts at birth.
  • When asked to identify the age at which children can begin to feel sad or fearful, 42% of parents say one year or older, and 59% of parents believe it begins at 6 months or older. In fact, this happens as early as 3-5 months. 
  • Nearly half of parents think that reading to children starts to benefit long-term language development about a year and a half later than it actually does: 45% say the benefits start at 2 years or older. In reality, benefits begin at about 6 months.
  • 34% of parents believe that talking to children starts to benefit their language skills at a year old or later, and 63% of parents say the benefits of talking begin at 3 months or older.   In fact, it begins at birth.

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