Baby Brain Development Matters

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Babies Make 1 Million New Connections Every Second

It’s easier and more effective to get it right in the early years than to rewire broken circuitry when babies grow into adults. Setting children up with a strong start helps them succeed later in school and in work.

Loving Words Affect Healthy Brain Development

When we shower babies with positive words and interactions, they grow up healthy and strong. This can be done by telling them what you are doing as you change them or by singing sweetly to them as you rock them to sleep.

Do you have questions about your baby’s development? Here are a few free services you can explore:

Call Help Me Grow for a Screening

Help Me Grow can be accessed by dialing 211 in 32 of Florida's 67 counties. The service provides early identification of developmental and/or behavioral concerns, and links families to community support.

Get Affordable Healthcare

Florida KidCare offers quality, affordable health and dental insurance for kids. From birth through the end of age 18, Florida children are eligible for head to toe coverage, even if one or both parents are working.

Sign Up for Free Pre-K

Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program or VPK is a free educational program that prepares 4-year-olds for kindergarten and beyond.

Explore Subsidized Childcare

Florida’s School Readiness Program or SR offers financial assistance to eligible low-income families for early education and care.

The Facts

How You Can Help

  • Mentor a reader. Help children learn to read with the ReadingPals program.
  • Sign up for our weekly early childhood newsletter to stay up to date on the latest news and research.
  • Bring The Movement to your community event: Please reach out to our Outreach team to learn how we can work together to spread the word about the early years.
  • Donate. Your contribution will allow us to keep working to bring awareness to these issues and chase real change in Tallahassee.

Read More

  1. Proven Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions – Rand Corporation. Discusses the impacts that early intervention has on multiple areas of young children’s lives as well as the positive financial effects that early intervention has for society.
  2. The Impact of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): What Does the Research Tell Us? – Kaiser Family Foundation. Discusses CHIP, the role it plays, and its importance.
  3. Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! – US Department of Education. A resource from the US DoE that helps parents understand important developmental mile stones for their child and offers guidance about early screening.
  4. The Importance of Screening – American Academy of Pediatrics. This guide talks about the various types of screenings available to children and their families as well as why these are all important.
  5. Promoting Optimal Development: Screening for Behavioral and Emotional Problems – American Academy of Pediatrics. This report from the AAP talks about the importance of screening for emotional and behavioral problems and why they are important.
  6. The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program – The Heckman Equation. Research summary that discusses the social, economic, health, and educational benefits of Early Childhood Programs.
  7. The State of Preschool 2017 – Florida’s State Preschool Yearbook – National Institute for Early Education Research. Gives a brief overview about the current state of Florida’s VPK program along with its strengths and weaknesses.
  8. The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects – Brookings Institution. A study that discusses the current state of Early Childhood programs across the county and the importance of high quality programs.
  9. Florida’s Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program: An Overview of the Largest State Pre-School Program in the Nation – University of Virginia EdPolicyWorks. Discusses the history of the Florida’s VPK program along with some
  10. Graduates of Early Childhood Program Show Greater Educational Gains as Adults – National Institutes of Health. This news release from the NIH talks about how the benefits of an Early Childhood program go beyond giving a child a head start in their elementary school years.

Disclaimer: These links to third-party websites are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. They do not constitute an endorsement or approval by The Children’s Movement of Florida or its affiliate organizations and partners.