Let’s fast forward to Maya’s 2,000th day of life. This is about the time she will be entering Kindergarten. What are some of the skills Maya will need to be ready for school?

School readiness goes beyond knowing colors and the alphabet. It includes mental skills like problem-solving and impulse control. It also includes social skills like emotional awareness and relationship-building. Maya will need to learn how to take turns, seek help, and communicate her emotions. She will develop these important skills as she practices them over her early years.

Science tells us that a child’s path towards school readiness begins well before the 2,000th day of life. It begins at birth. A child’s skills and relationships depend on the input she receives from the environment. When we understand how the elements of a healthy path to learning begin at birth, we can make sure that more children experience more of these elements.