What the science says
From 0 to 2
The ﬁrst 1,000 days of a child’s development set the foundation for brain development. This period sees signiﬁcant development of the brain’s sensory circuits, as well as its limbic system circuits for emotions. These limbic systems help determine a child’s ability to respond and connect with others, as well as manage stress.
From 2 to 5
At this stage, a child’s brain develops complex, interconnected neural networks between the limbic system (arousal, motor control) and the prefrontal cortex (planning, decision making, moderating social behaviour).
Development at this crucial stage has a lasting impact on a child’s abilities to plan, make decisions, explore ideas, pretend and get along with others. The preschool brain lays the foundation for lifelong learning, including reading, mathematics, science, and creative arts.
When children fall behind
It becomes harder for a 5-year-old to learn when they struggle to pay attention or get along with others. Children who have cognitive and language delays at age 5 will often face greater hardship throughout their lives, including increased risk of poverty and mental health issues.