Early Childhood Development

Why Are Your Child’s First Years SO Important?

There is a lot you can do to make sure your child gets a healthy start on life. It’s all about starting early. That is, right from day one.

The first 1000 days of a child’s life are a period of super-fast changes in their bodies, their brains, and their emotions.

In that time, children go from at rest, non-speaking babies to walking, talking toddlers.

A child’s growth in this short period of time is amazing. Their bodies, minds, and feelings are getting ready for the life they will live.

Even before they walk or talk, babies learn by what they see, hear, and feel.

From ages three to eight, much of their most important brain growth is finished.

How they do in school, how they behave, even how they do in life takes shape in these early years.

Happy and healthy lives start early. Thankfully, it is easy to give your child a healthy start with quality time!

30 Minutes of Quality Time Each Day Adds Up to a Lifetime of Well-Being for Children

You are your child’s first teacher. You give them things to look at. You give them things to touch. You show them to play simple games. You help them to feel love.

Every time you do things with your child, they are growing. Even little things count. Just 30 minutes each day is like magic, when the time you spend is quality time.

Quality time is easy to understand.  It means attention is 100% on your child. They can look into your eyes, and you into theirs. You are doing something together. You are touching, playing, interacting.

Quality time is simple to give. It’s breastfeeding and cuddling. It’s pat-a-cake and simple games. Its reading, singing and playing together.

Give the Gift of Quality Time to a Child

No matter who you are, you can help children get the quality time they deserve.

  • If you are a parent or caregiver, try out some of the many activities on this website and in the QT 30 Activity Book. There’s lot to choose from, for every day and every time of the year.
  • If you are a day care provider, make sure quality time is part of your program, and share your quality time activities with families.
  • If you are an employer, create work schedules that ensure working parents have time with their children.

Anyone who cares about children is invited to share this Website and the activity guide.

When an adult spends thirty minutes of quality time with a baby or toddler child each and every day, they are giving them a great head start in life. The child will have better health, do better in school and get along better in life. Its super-simple…and, it works!

Useful Resource Links

Developmental Screening Tabletop Handout