Why Early Experiences Have Lifelong Implications

20/10/2022

Early experiences affect the brain development process of children. It’s especially the case during their first five years where their brains undergo the most rapid development. If those early experiences are filled with stress and adversities, this can affect the children’s school readiness and long-term academic achievement. 

How early experiences affect brain development 

In the children’s early years, their brains are most sensitive to external influences. After all, their brains are still busy making neural connections and making sense of the world around them. This is also the period when their core brain architecture is being built. 

However, negative experiences, especially major adversities and chronic stress, can interrupt that healthy brain development. This interruption can make children get left behind when it comes to achieving significant developmental milestones. 

In addition, negative experiences can also reduce brain power. That’s because the brain starts to prioritise being on alert mode instead of developing higher brain functions such as critical thinking. With this lower brain activity, children can find it hard to absorb and process information as well as solve everyday problems that require planning, thinking and creativity. 

As mentioned earlier, the children’s brains are still highly sensitive to external influences. Further, children in their early years respond differently to traumatic events and other emotional experiences. Their brains might expect that it’s the way of life and their expectations about the future will be set in stone. 

Although later experiences and intervention can help children get back on track, still, early experiences can have a significant and irreversible impact on the children’s long-term achievement. As a result, it’s crucial that children get the nurture and support they require in their first five years. 

Here at WillowBee Early Learning Centre, we ensure a positive learning environment for children. We understand the huge role of early experiences in the children’s long-term development, including their performance in the big school and beyond. As a result, our curriculum is centred on helping children get the best possible start in life.