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April 2008 Newsletter.pdf - Child Care Resource Center

April 2008 Newsletter.pdf - Child Care Resource Center

April 2008 Newsletter.pdf - Child Care Resource

Child Care QuarterlyA Publication of the Child Care Resource Center, Inc.Spring 2008In this IssueBrain Development in YoungChildrenThe Benefits of Outdoor PlayInternational ProviderAppreciation DayUPCOMING EVENTSAt the Child Care Resource CenterArt,Movement &MusicWhere: Hoyt Field (Gilmore St. andWestern Ave.) in CambridgeWhen: Wed. April 30, 2008 from1:30pm-3:00pmWho: Cambridge parents/caregivers and their children 1-5Just stop by and enjoy activitieslike making drums and dancing!Helping Your Child Make Connections:Making the Most of the Brain GainBabies are born with their brains ready and waiting to build up a seriesof "connections" as they learn and experience life. This building of connectionsin the brain continues throughout life, but researchers havediscovered a fascinating piece of new information. The human braingrows fastest when we are very young. By the age of five, children'sbrains are at 90 percent of their potential growth. A huge amount ofbrain building has taken place in just a few short years!Brain Development and Its ImportanceSo why is it important that you know about your child's brain development?What does it mean for you as a parent? Young children are goingthrough a tremendous amount of growth in a very short period of time.Some very exciting and critical changes are happening in the brain thatcan have a long-term effect on a child.Researchers call specific timeframes for the developing brain during thefirst five to six years of life the "critical periods" or "windows of opportunity."Like other milestones in young children's lives, including learningto walk, talk, and play with others, these "critical periods" are thought tobe the best times for certain senses and skills to develop normally. Earlyexperiences definitely play a key role in school success.As a parent, you are surely doing a lot of nurturing, which is a big part ofwhat is needed to make the most impact on developing key skills. As youtouch, hold, look at, rock, talk to, read to, and sing to your baby and toddlers,you are developing connections in the brain that will form the basicfoundation of how they feel about themselves and how they relate toothers and the world around them.What Do Children Need?While it is important to be aware of early brain development, it is alsonecessary to not over-worry about it. Remember that children are bornwith the ability to learn. Many skills are not taught. For example, youcannot teach a child to talk. However, you do provide the experiencesthat encourage and support natural language development.If your child is in child care, work with your provider to ensure that he orshe is receiving the kind of care that will provide the types of experiencesthat will encourage exploration and growth. Talk about those experiencesthat your child care provider has available in her program, andinclude them at home as well. So, what are some things that parents andchild care providers can do to make the most of the fast learning andContinued on the next page

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