In this module, we have learned that everyday moments contribute to children’s learning. As with Maya, children’s early skills are the foundation for their later abilities.

Literacy is one example of how Maya’s early experiences will support later learning. The diagram above shows how Maya’s path to literacy begins in infancy. As Maya imitates and coos back and forth with her loved ones, she’s preparing to learn language.

Over the next few years, Maya will build a vocabulary to describe her experiences. She’ll express her thoughts, ask questions, and even make demands. And as she develops more complex behaviors, her brain will undergo corresponding changes.

Children’s early experiences shape their brain and behavior. These experiences contribute to school readiness when a child is 2,000 days old.