This issue guide provides a brief overview on the importance of early childhood development, outlining three approaches to investing in infants and toddlers in Alabama.

“Research tells us that the structure of babies’ brains is built in the first three years. During this time, the brain creates 700 neural connections each second, a rate faster than at any other time of life. These simple, beginning connections develop into stronger, more complex connections if babies are exposed to a variety of experiences appropriate for their stages of development…  Early adverse experiences lead to poorer learning outcomes, reduced immune system function, and a decreased ability to manage basic levels of stress…  Differences in early childhood experiences contribute greatly to the growing gaps in children’s learning and achievement.”

– Dr. Ellen Abell, Associate Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist at Auburn University

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