EARLY EXPERIENCES BUILD BRAINS
(Taken from the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative)
Contrary to popular belief, the structure of our brains as they develop in early childhood is determined by more than just our genes. The experiences we have in the first years of our lives also affect the physical architecture of the developing brain.
That has consequences for our health and for our communities—because the brains we take with us into adulthood determine our physical and mental health, our ability to maintain healthy relationships, and our ability to contribute as productive, responsible citizens. Because brains are built in stages, with more complex structures built on simpler structures, it’s crucial to get the early years right. Think of building a house: before framing the walls, a foundation has to be poured. Before wiring the house, walls and floors need to be built. Our brains are also built in sequence, and early childhood is about laying a solid foundation to serve as a base for later development. Once architecture is built, foundation repairs are costly, so supporting early childhood is a worthwhile investment.