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Early Childhood Presentation

Early Childhood Presentation. Quality Early Childhood Means Productive Adulthood 5 th November 2010 Mercure Hotel, 355 Willis Street Wellington.

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Early Childhood Presentation

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  1. Early Childhood Presentation Quality Early Childhood Means Productive Adulthood 5th November 2010 Mercure Hotel, 355 Willis Street Wellington Suzanne Snively

  2. Investment of time and resources in the learning for children under 5 has a higher return than any other investment. This is because it increases their potential to be trained and educated and reduces their lifetime health costs. Suzanne Snively

  3. Dr. Perry, a neuroscientist, described our current society as one on a collision course with biology and nature. “You can fight Mother Nature,” he warned, “but ultimately, you’re going to lose.” First, Dr. Perry describes the remarkable malleability of the human brain, based on its ability to modify itself based on repetition and use. During any type of repetition – for example, practicing spelling words – the brain’s neurons are constantly firing, connecting, and weaving themselves together to form new functional connections. Secondly, an active brain makes more of these connections and strengthens them, while in an inactive brain, the connections slowly fade away because of lack of use. Suzanne Snively

  4. Our current early childhood support for parenting, programs, policies, and practices disregard what we do know about the brain and early childhood development. As a result, they are leading to irreparable harm to individuals. The cost to society is great. Until we change our ways the percent of 25% of families characterised as high-risk, will grow. Suzanne Snively

  5. Yet, by investing more in early childhood the outcome is win, win, win. • win for the child and its family • win for society • win for the tax payer because the child will be: • more productive, learning more • healthier, costing less Suzanne Snively

  6. Dr. Perry’s research has been carried out over many years and with many families, and children. He found stark contrasts in the lives of children who had been surrounded with positive human interactions and those who were not. Many children suffer from forms of neglect. The effect of the neglect is a failure to provide “a pattern of developmental experience required, [for the child] to express a fundamental potential.” Suzanne Snively

  7. These neglectful environments have economic as well as human consequences. Diverting the trajectory of just one of the highest-risk children would save $1 million before the child turns 19. I know this personally because I informally fostered a child from a neglectful environment when he was 17. By that stage, it took at least 10 different government agencies to keep him on the straight and narrow – and that was even with my husband and I spending hours each day with him. Suzanne Snively

  8. By creating consistent, nurturing, safe environments for young families and their children there will be a quantum leap in productivity. This has the potential to provide at least 30% of dollars that could be used for infrastructure, innovation and invention. Suzanne Snively

  9. Suzanne Snively

  10. How Experiences in Early Childhood Create a Healthy Society “The qualities of humanity which have allowed us to create a democratic government, complex economics, astounding technologies and all other manifestations of our society are mediated by the human brain.” “In turn, these brain systems which allow us to think, feel and act, are shaped by experience. The experiences of childhood act as primary architects of the brain’s capabilities throughout the rest of life. These organising childhood experiences can be consistent, nurturing, structured and enriched – resulting in flexible, responsible, empathic and intelligent contributors to society.” Dr Bruce Perry Suzanne Snively

  11. When childhood experiences are neglectful, chaotic, violent and abusive, the result is impulsive, aggressive, remorseless, and intellectually-improvished members of society. Suzanne Snively

  12. Government’s Role in Early Childhood • The root neurobiological structures for all future functioning are established in early childhood and provide the foundation for more complex feeling, thinking and behaving which develop during the rest of life. • Roughly 85% of these core brain structures are ‘organised’ by the age of three. • Consistent, nurturing, predictable and ‘enriched’ experiences in a safe setting result in optimal brain organisation and function. • If programs and policies can increase the percentage of intelligent, empathic, productive members of our society and decrease the percentage requiring special education, mental health, child welfare, child protective and juvenile justice services, it is clearly in the best interests of our society. Suzanne Snively

  13. Biggest capacity to change each year Suzanne Snively

  14. Biggest capacity to change each year This is the area where the brain responds most to positive changes Suzanne Snively

  15. Biggest capacity to change each year Currently the majority of spending is reactive and spent when the brain is least capable of change Suzanne Snively

  16. Neglect and abuse during the first three years of life can result in a lifetime of lost potential. Safety, structure, nurturing and enrichment in early childhood can result in a lifetime of productivity. Suzanne Snively

  17. For your information: The US-based ChildTrauma Academy is a unique collaborative of individuals and organisations working to improve the lives of high-risk children through direct service, research and education. Suzanne Snively

  18. Thanks for the opportunity to present to you today. Keep up the good work! Suzanne Snively

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