Building Nurturing Communities provides communities in North Texas with early learning information pertaining to the health, developmental and safety needs of children birth to five as a means to ensure school readiness.
Prevention and intervention are key factors that positively impact outcomes for children. Community data as well as national research supports the need for services that focus on the critical needs of infants and young children. We know that:
- The most important developmental period in a child's life begins before birth and lasts until he or she turns three. A child's brain is more active in these years than at any other point - in fact, it grows to 80% of its adult size.
- By focusing on the earliest stages of life, we have the power to influence significant outcomes for all our families, communities, children and our future. Research shows us that strategic investments in children from prenatal to age three yield high public as well as private returns, benefitting the community and economy hand in hand with the child.
- By the time a child enters Kindergarten, he or she already has been learning for five or six years. In fact, sound science and everyday experience show that children are born learning. However, our country's policies, programs and practices typically do not take this knowledge into consideration. Instead, we wait to respond to a child's earliest learning until the first day of school. Is that really too late? Yes, because the achievement gap we struggle to narrow in elementary school and too often fail to close in high school is actually an "opportunity" gap rooted in those very early years. (The Buffet Early Childhood Fund)
Building Nurturing Communities - Community Education Objectives:
- Increase knowledge and awareness about the developmental, health and safety needs of infants and young children.
- Increase understanding of the importance of healthy development including the impact of poor social-emotional development such as child abuse/neglect, juvenile delinquency, school failure and mental health problems later in life.
- Increase the public's will to improve the health, development and safety needs of infants and young children by seeking support of the community to address their needs through support, services and funding.
- Motivate individuals to act on their opinions by expressing them to policymakers
- Motivate policymakers to mobilize and react to ensure the needs of very young children come first.