A clean and safe environment is an essential element of the quality early experiences children need for healthy development in the early years. At preschools and child care centers, regular cleaning and disinfecting is very important because infants and young children are constantly putting toys in their mouths. However, the products used for disinfecting can be just as important to the children’s health as a regular cleaning schedule.
Science tells us that the brain is developing most rapidly in the first few years of life, and that this development is influenced by early childhood experiences, both good and bad.
In this article, Dr. Rushford discusses the effects of stress on a child's developing brain and body. He explains how the use of chiropractic treatment can offset the physical and emotional results of stress and promote healthy growth and development.
As a public safety officer, I have observed that it takes a community to keep children in safe and stable environments that are optimal for healthy development. Public safety is an essential part of this community, and beyond the people closest to a child, police officers play an important role in ensuring that each child is growing up in a safe environment where she/he can learn and thrive.
We all know that children differ according to their temperament, and parents often marvel at how temperamentally different their kids can be. Some are quick to feel anxious or mad while others seem unflappable. Some want to be surrounded by as much noise and excitement and people as possible, while others prefer quiet and solitude. Some kids ride the wave of their emotions while others can keep them in check. Where do these traits come from and what, if anything, should we do about them?
I am the mother of three children—two sons who are eight and five, and a two-year-old daughter. My husband and I work full-time out of financial necessity and we have depended on child care outside of the home for all of our children. Like most families, in an effort to provide them with high-quality early experiences, we’ve encountered significant obstacles in terms of affordability, availability and quality of Vermont’s child care options.
There are many factors that go into offering high-quality early learning experiences for healthy development in our youngest children, and these factors come with a cost. Currently, this high cost is primarily shouldered by both providers and parents, and is a great burden for many Vermonters. But investing in the healthy development of our youngest children is beneficial to our society as a whole.
Just as it is critical for babies to be firmly swaddled to feel emotionally and physically secure, it is equally important for children’s cognitive and physical development to provide opportunities for them to spend time on the horizontal plane—be it on the floor, in a playpen or play yard, or on the grass.
For 2,000 years, people around the world have used puppets to educate and encourage positive change. Working the edge between entertainment and education, puppets can both teach and persuade. Puppets in Education is a nonprofit program that teaches children how to keep themselves safe and healthy and to appreciate each other’s differences by using life-sized puppets that model effective leadership, problem-solving and social skills.
In a world where everything is moving faster and faster, where pressures and expectations for children’s academic achievement are felt earlier and earlier, play is being pushed out of early childhood. Children’s lives are becoming more scheduled and more structured at an earlier and earlier age. There is less opportunity for play indoors, and less opportunity for outdoor play in nature and in the neighborhood.
Gandhi said, “The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members.” That statement calls to mind our children. A tenant of many faith traditions is social justice. It summons us to build toward a more equitable society, to protect our most defenseless members, to value diversity and to amplify the voices of those who are not heard.