Importance of Natural Resources

Early Childhood Education, Brain Function, and Research

What a child experiences during the first years of their life has a lasting impact on the development of their brain. While genes set the roadmap, experiences create the neural connection inside the brain that sets the foundations of our emotions, language, motor skills, vision, and memories. If one region gets additional stimulation, the neural pathways within that area and the connections to other areas grow stronger. This process is called synaptic pruning. You can also imagine your brain as a planet. There is Motor Skill Metropolis, Memory Mountain and Vision Village. Through the years, popular cities grow bigger and links between them get larger. Now if one area was never developed, there can be traffic jams. This then slows down the development of the entire brain. Some neurotransmitters will be tired getting to work. Others will take short cuts and get lost. Betty Hart and Todd Risley studied children’s exposure to language. On average children from families on welfare were exposed to about 600 words per hour. Kids from rich families got about 2,000. By the age of 3, the gap becomes 30 million words. But it didn’t end there. Children from privileged families received much more positive feedback. For every 6 words of praise, there was only one word of discouragement. Welfare kids however, heard twice as much discouragements than praise. This could make a difference that lasts a lifetime. In a study that began in 1963, psychologist David Weikart and his team randomly divided 123 underprivileged kids into two groups. One group spent two years at a top preschool with excellent teachers. They made art, discussed problems, and received a lot attention, respect and love. For the other, life went on as usual. Often without much attention from anyone 40 years later the Highscope Perry Preschool Study was published. At age five, 67% of the children in the top preschool group had an IQ of over 90, they were school-ready. Of the others, only 28% achieved that. At fourteen there was a big difference in basic classroom achievements. At twenty-seven the top preschool group were more likely to own their own home. And at age forty they earned more money and were less likely to ever be sentenced to jail. The researchers concluded that the two years at preschool nourished the children not only intellectually but also gave them social skills, courage and perseverance. This combination of character strength, also called Grit, was later responsible for their success in life. The 15,000 dollars invested in putting those kids into preschool, later benefited the entire society, mainly through a reduction in crime. The total return of investment was estimated to be at a 195,000 dollars. In 2006 Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman published what became known as the Heckman Curve. It shows the return of investments in education, which is the highest in the early years. Governments have since started to act. In Germany parents get a lot of financial support to raise their kids. In Japan, mothers or fathers can take a full year of paid leave. In France, all children go to Kindergarten free of charge. If you happen to be in charge, know that with every extra minute you spend encouraging and talking to that little troublemaker, you might be doing him a favour for life. According to the University of Michigan: “regular family dinners are a stronger predictor of good grades than doing homework.”

Reader Comments

  1. Well I have only been a subscriber for a few weeks so this was a new video for me and I really enjoyed it.

    If you didn't reupload it I don't know when of if I would have seen it.

  2. Right now I'm really thankful to have grown up in Germany. My family wasn't privileged at all, yet I was given a really good early childhood education as far as I remember. That probably wouldn't have been possible without state support and I wouldn't be studying at university right now.

  3. guys you are the best. loved watching your videos. I have a request.i would like for you to make a video how to improve slow learning children.

  4. Why richest families pay more atention to their childrens? And there is a reason that can explain why they express more positive approvals than negative ones? I´d been noticed this social phenomenon several times and I can´t explain why happens

  5. Good Video about Fun Activities for Kids at home help in Improving Early Childhood Education which I liked hope you will like it

  6. Your video is great! I definitely support the role of families in contributing to the child's learning during the formative years. I am a father of 2 & I am interested in new technology methods & how it will contribute to the children's wellbeing.

    Here is an article that resonates with your message & to me:

  7. In the cartoon drawings, the "parents on benefits" are depicted; ignoring their children, leaving them in front of the television and drinking. While "rich parents" are reading to their children, eating family meals and showing affection. While it is important to stress the effects of an economically disadvantaged childhood, this video is patronising and perpetuates insulting stereotypes.

  8. 100% agreed. One has to be emotional and socially strong to face modern day challenges. So early childhood education has become an order of the day. I have admitted my 3 year old in a pre school named Nordic International School ( and so far I am quite happy with the progress. They offer different programs for different age groups. Its directly run by Swedish faculty. Situated near Muslim Town Lahore, Pakistan.

  9. This was great, I have been researching "children coach" for a while now, and I think this has helped. Have you ever come across – Elilan Coachify Domination – (search on google ) ? Ive heard some unbelievable things about it and my partner got excellent results with it.

  10. Absolutely amazing!!!
    This is why I turn to sprouts because they give you what is important concisely. Cheers guys!! Keep up the good and hard work 🙂

  11. I'm not entirely convinced that rich parents have more time to spend at home, those kids are probably being raised by a hired person. I think the middle class has a greater chance, or even better yet rich people that receive a lot of passive income.

  12. This video & narrator makes out like poverty is circumstantial. When in fact global children are segregated no different than those of the schools in, "Rwanda Africa", just before the mass slaughter, "genocide"… Point is… claiming and or implying, "welfare", people cannot handle razing children is merely another masquerade meant to syndicate the virtual opportunity those merely better at coveting than the rest of us. "Stop weaponizing our children", and then cut and run… Plutocratic tinder boxes purpose built to reward covet compliance with cheap pride, while feeding our most cherished fantastic manifestos no more than teaching children to self-destruct. Those few who in spite of this, "social malevolence", work hard and create for themselves a way separate from this fear based arrogance are but the taken apart later by over biasing one sex over the other then scamming conflict in our homes using the only thing coveter lust after cash and or the strictly cutting off of every opportunity young families need to survive. Yes remember, each day in another chance to never ever look the other way again. Thank you YVO

  13. I wish poor countries give parents a tool how to stimulate their child's brain at early age at home, they would solve the countries problem after 20 years.

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