"Research shows that the first
three years of life is the period of most rapid development for a child.
Infants are born with well-developed senses, and have a wide range of
reflexive abilities with which to begin the important tasks of forming
relationships and developing trust, having their basic physical needs met
and exploring the world around them. With nurturing and responsive
care-giving, appropriate environmental stimulation, optimal health, and
adequate nutrition, babies will grow from being totally dependent to
becoming active participants in exploring and shaping their world.
The Human brain in not fully developed at birth. Sensitive, trusting
interactions with people and the environment are necessary to complete the
infant brain 's network of connections. These connections grow most rapidly
in the child's first three years of life and establish the foundation for
all future learning.
Infants and toddlers are eager and curious learners, gaining knowledge and
understanding of themselves and the world around them from every experience
of daily living. Dramatic changes occur in every area of development, and
growth in one area influences growth in all other areas.
is born with a unique, natural disposition that shapes behaviors and plays a
significant role in the development of relationships with parents, family
members, care-givers, and other children. From birth, infants display
differences in temperament, activity level, biological rhythm, mood,
intensity of reaction, sensitivity, adaptability, distractibility, and
persistence. Recognizing and understanding these differences is essential to
develop nurturing and responsive relationships and to create optimal
Early Learning Guidelines, N.H.H.S.S., June 2007