THE CAMPAIGN

Let’s Grow Kids, a statewide public education campaign, aims to raise understanding of the importance of the earliest years in the lives of Vermont's children. Funded by a collaboration of private foundations, Let's Grow Kids is working with Vermont communities, organizations, businesses and individuals to create positive lasting change that will allow all of our children to succeed in life.

Why the Campaign

WHY FOCUS ON THE FIRST YEARS

80% of a child's brain is developed in the first three years of life, building the foundation for future success

BUILDING THE BRAIN

More than 80% of a child’s brain develops in the first three years of life. Seven hundred new neural connections are formed every second. These connections are formed through the interaction of genes and a baby’s environment and experiences, laying the foundation for all future learning, skill-building, and social-emotional development. Helping our children build strong brains means giving them quality early experiences — starting the day they’re born.

 

READY FOR SCHOOL

Forty to fifty percent of Vermont’s children arrive at kindergarten unprepared. Getting kids ready for school means more than helping with their ABCs, packing their lunches, filling their backpacks, and getting them to the bus on time. Preparing our children for success means giving them quality early experiences that include safe, stimulating and stable places to live, learn and play from day one.

PAY NOW OR PAY MORE LATER

Children who are given quality early experiences have better relationships with their classmates and friends, and develop better language, math, and social skills  They score higher on school-readiness tests, are 40% less likely to need special education and 70% less likely to commit a violent crime. We all benefit if we do it right early, or we all pay more later. 

SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Social interaction is the most important form of stimulation babies and toddlers receive. Starting from birth, the kinds of relationships babies have with their caregivers help them learn who they are. Strong, positive relationships help babies develop trust, empathy and self-esteem. Responsive interactions like talking, cooing, laughing and playing provide important input to the developing brain.  Early experiences are literally built into our brains, so it's important that we provide positive environments and experiences for the youngest in our communities.

HEALTHY vs UNHEALTHY STRESS

While moderate, short-term stress can be good for babies—for instance, learning to self-soothe—studies show that persistent stress, often referred to as "toxic stress," caused by abuse and neglect can weaken the architecture of the developing brain. We know that children who are exposed to toxic stress early on develop an exaggerated stress response that, over time, makes them more vulnerable to many chronic conditions, from heart disease to diabetes, depression and addiction.  Babies need nurturing, supportive relationships to stimulate strong brain development and help them succeed down the road.

EVERY CHILD NEEDS

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Sign The Pledge

I want a society where all children can grow and live to their full potential. Because 80% of a child’s brain develops by age 3, building the foundation for success in life, I believe it’s important we ensure that Vermont’s children have quality early experiences. Therefore, I support efforts to build positive, lasting change that will allow all of our children the opportunity to succeed in life.

Sign Pledge

SHARE THE PLEDGE