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HLTC23H3 (27)
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Health Studies

EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT A POWERFUL EQUALIZERMany challenges in adult society like mental health problems obesity heart disease and criminality competence in literacy and numeracy have their roots in early childhoodEconomists argue that an investment in early childhood is the most powerful investment a ctry can makeResearch now shows that childrens early environment has a vital impact on the way their brains developThe more stimulating their early environment the more positive connections are formed in the brain and the better the child thrives in all aspects of his or her life in terms of physical emotional and social development and the ability to express themselves and acquire knowledgeGlobally those societies that invest in children and families in the early years rich or poor have the most literate and numerate populationThese are the societies that have the best health status and lowest levels of health inequality in the worldSuccess in promoting early child development doesnt depend on society and being wealthy but depends on skills of the caregivers and the cost of effective programs varies with the wage structure of the societies EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe early years are marked by the rapid development of the central nervous systemThe environmental conditions to which children are exposed in the earliest years literally sculpt the developing brainThe environments that are responsible for fostering nurturant conditions for children range from the intimate realm of the family to the broader socioeconomic context shaped by the governments international agencies and civil societiesThese characteristics are the determinants of ECDECD is a determinant of health well being and learning skills across the balance of the life courseEconomics argue based on the issue of investment that investment in ECD is the most powerful investment a country can make with returns over the life course many times the size of the original investment The scope of the present report is four fold 1 To demonstrate which environments matter most for children 2 To review which environmental configurations are optimal for ECD including economic social and physical nature 3 To determine the contingency relationships that connect the broader socioeconomic context of society 4 To highlight opportunities to foster nurturant conditions for children at multiple levels of society and by multiple means Early childhoodis defined as the period from prenatal development to eight years of age
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