HOUSTON – The Episcopal Health Foundation funds early childhood brain development for children ages 0-3.
According to EHF, early childhood brain development programs are the single most preventive health measure we can take.
Dr. Quianta Moore created the Brian Builders parenting class.
“The first year of life, the brain forms new connections 1,000,000/second, so the ability of the parents, the ability of the caregiver to interact with their children, to stimulate those neural connections. That’s really important,” said Dr. Moore.
She says the children most at risk of being unprepared for school and life skills came from low-income areas, not because parenting classes weren’t available, but because they didn’t. were not structured in a useful way.
“I felt it was really important that we respect these moms and teach them brain science. We taught them in a way that was easy to understand, we taught it in a way that made it digestible and applicable for them. It was a really important part of our program and we found that when we looked at other programs for parents, they didn’t do it. They told parents what to do, but not why they should,” Dr. Moore said. “We explained that the brain is constantly shaping itself, forming these connections, and moms then know and feel equipped, right? They felt equipped with the “why” they felt equipped to make decisions on behalf of their child. »
Moore said doing simple tasks: singing, reading, talking and playing with babies builds neural pathways that help them become good readers, analytical and reflective people later in life.
Jo Carcedo, vice president of grants for the Episcopal Health Foundation, said they invested in research a long time ago to find out how to have the biggest impact on community health and when they found the class Brain Builders Parenting, they knew targeting the early years was key.
“We’re able to take the research that we’ve done and disseminate it on a much wider basis so that we can also have some sort of public outreach and education aspect to this work, because what we think is that the more people who know about this and understand the simplicity and importance of how you have a real impact on a child’s brain development, then we’re all better served by having that knowledge there -down,” Carcedo said.
Mom Cho Chan has completed the six-week course and says she and her daughter are happier and healthier for learning how to interact.
“To know that I’m not alone and to know that Chloe, my instructor, was there to encourage me, to show me compassion and to empower me on this parenting journey,” Chan said. “Hazel has a happier mom and a healthier mom.”
The program is free and available online. Brain Builders Parent Class (brain-builders.org)
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