Although learning takes place throughout life, a young child's brain is more flexible so opportunities for development are greatest during early childhood years. The majority of brain development takes place prior to the age of six, but it's the first three years of life that are the most important.
A child's brain is not fully formed when they're newly born. In order to develop, the brain cells need to be activated to form connections, pathways and networks that give children the powers of vision, language, smell, muscle control and reasoning.
These connections are largely formed through sensory experiences, including touch, speech, and movement. The development of the child's brain will reflect the qualities and quantity of experiences they are exposed to. Research has found that childhood experiences that enrich brain development provide the foundation for more complex skills and behaviour throughout life.
A child's brain development includes periods during which the brain is particularly efficient at learning. However these periods are only open for a defined time and neuroscientists have found that once a period closes, the brain structure becomes more difficult to change. If children miss out on experiences within these periods, they may not develop the richness or complexity of skills that they could be capable of.
Here at Rotorua Home Based Childcare in Rotorua, we understand how a child’s brain works and what’s required to maximize their learning and mental development from our childcare in Rotorua, NZ.