First 2000 Days

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Most people can hardly remember experiences they had in their first 2000 days of life-roughly birth to a little past 5 years old. But behavioral and developmental research, plus developments in neuroscience and molecular biology, have been pointing to how experiences in the first 2000 days can affect the trajectory of a child's life. According to Dr. Jack Shokoff, the Director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, early childhood experiences are the foundation of all the problems societies face. Read about the brain research here

Many Wilmington-area citizens are busy spreading awareness of the importance of the first 2,000 days—or five years—of a child’s brain development. This week, faith leaders addressed early childhood at a local summit; however, the statewide First 2,000 Days campaign—the first of its kind—has been in effect since 2011. And it’s not just geared toward parents and those who work with young children--communities at large benefit from the “spillover effect” of a quality first 2,000 Days.

It’s a lot easier to build a playpen than a penitentiary, area faith leaders say. And it’s why they’re teaming with Smart Start of New Hanover County to launch a grassroots movement to invest in early childhood care and education. On Monday, nearly two hundred community leaders, teachers and parents met at Wilmington’s First Baptist Activity Center to discuss ways to improve the first 2,000 days—or five years—of local children’s lives.