Why Early Learning Matters

The science is clear. A child’s experiences from birth to age five create essential brain connections that set the foundation for all future learning.

Learning Begins at Birth

This learning journey begins long before a child enters school. It starts at home! Parents and caregivers are children’s first and most influential teachers. Reading, talking, and purposeful playing with a child beginning at birth provides the necessary experiences to help their mind grow strong and bright, shaping language, literacy, math, and social and emotional skills.

It is during these years—when more than 85 percent of a child’s brain is formed—that crucial brain connections are created. These connections help develop indispensable academic, social, and cognitive skills, which are the bases for learning.

The Science Is Clear

Brain research shows access to early language and literacy experiences enables children to:

  • Be exposed to different sounds in words (phonemic awareness).
  • Begin to recognize letter shapes, an important foundation to figure out new words (decoding).
  • Develop real-world understanding of what the words refer to (create contexts for understanding meaning).
  • Build an oral and listening vocabulary (approximately 5,000 words by kindergarten).

Supporting Young Learners

Explore additional resources, materials, and games to support the young learners in your life.

READY! for Kindergarten

The READY! for Kindergarten® school readiness program empowers parents and caregivers to succeed in their role as children’s first and most influential teachers. 

Resource Hub

Discover fun and exciting activities, printables, booklists, and games to help develop your child’s love of Reading Together and Playing With a Purpose.

Reading Resources

Get ideas for books your child will enjoy, what to look for when choosing books, and how to have fun while reading together!