From Early Experiences to School Readiness

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.

  • Back-and-forth or contingent interactions
    exchanges in which a caregiver times her responses to a child’s behavior
    observing then reproducing, or copying, a behavior
    Infant-directed speech
    a special tone and style of speech used to talk to young children. It’s also called parentese.
    the support a caregiver provides a child to help her achieve more than she would be able to accomplish on her own