It turns out that to thrive by five...we just need a little more play time.

We’ve been blogging about education this month, but that doesn’t limit us to exploring only school-related issues. Learning begins at birth, long before a child’s first day of Kindergarten. Early childhood education, defined as the period from birth to age five, is vitally important for child development. And child development is linked to future outcomes as adults.   

Experts agree that 90% of brain development happens before age 5! A child’s experiences during these early years greatly affect their long-term outcomes. Neurological connections are formed that impact health and overall wellbeing over an entire lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to expose young children to learning opportunities that boost cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.

In recent years the state of Virginia developed legislation to consolidate and streamline early childhood education under the Virginia Department of Education. However, we don’t always need to dive into legislative details or the growing mounds of statistics related to this topic. Check out this inspiring TED Talk by seven-year-old Molly Wright. Molly walks us through five tips we can employ early and often to help kids thrive by age five.  

  1. Connecting
  2. Talking
  3. Playing
  4. Healthy Home
  5. Community

It turns out that to thrive by five, we don’t necessarily need to call upon experts, specialized curriculum or private preschools. We just need a little more play time! And the best playtime starts with trusted adults and a healthy home. That’s one of many reasons why Henrico CASA is committed to ensuring safe homes for every child in Henrico County.