Eighty percent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first three years of life, rapidly producing billions of cells and hundreds of trillions of connections, or synapses, between these cells. In order for this crucial development to occur properly, children’s brains need appropriate fuel in the form of adequate nutrition. A car needs oil, gas, and other materials in order to run properly. Like cars, our brains need adequate fuel to function and excel.
According to reports released this year by Building Bright Futures and the Vermont Agency of Education, 40-50% of children in Vermont arrive at kindergarten unprepared. As a kindergarten teacher, I can tell you that getting our kids ready for school means more than helping them with their ABCs, packing their lunches, filling their backpacks, and getting them to the bus on time.
The earliest years of life are a critical period for development. Eighty-percent of the brain is developed by age three, and ninety-percent by age five. One million brain connections are formed every second. This early development becomes a foundation for all future learning, behavior and health.