by Preety Sehgal, Development & Mentoring Manager, Chrysalis Group of Early Learning Centres
Children’s brains develop at a once-in-a-lifetime speed during the first 1,000 days of life. In fact, babies’ brains form new connections at an astounding rate – up to 1,000 every single second – a pace never repeated again. For every child, early moments matter. This is why it is important to make each moment count. The quality of experiences during the first 1,000 days of life establishes either a strong or fragile foundation for everything that follows.
So what can we do to make these first 1,000 days count?
The most important part of a healthy upbringing for these young children is a kiss, a hug, a nutritious meal and a fun game of peek-a-boo. Yes, it does not take a lot but a simple formula called, Eat, Play, Love* makes all the difference.
These early years are a beautiful matrix of mind and body development. The little bodies are constantly moving, exploring and there is so much going on in the learning mind that it’s important to make sure children get the right fuel for their growth. Establishing good nutrition like the right balance of nutrients, with tastes and textures and appropriate portion sizes, are important to meet each stage of development.
Breastfeeding in the early years also sets your children up for true health and well-being – for life. For more information see this valuable resource: “Eating for Healthy Breastfeeding Women/Ngā Kai Totika mā te Ūkaipō”
In our award winning centres (Chrysalis, Magic Kingdom, Fern Garden and Milky Way) we ensure your Child’s nutrition is personally looked after while they are in our care – so we provide diet-specific, healthy, nutritious meals every day by either our qualified chef or professional catering service dedicated to early childhood education centres.
Alongside adequate nutrition, play has a vital role in giving children the best possible start in life. As babies cannot play on their own they need adults to support their brain development. Every time you touch them, feed them, sing to them or when they see or hear something new, messages are sent to their brain and brain cells make connections like little bulbs lighting up all over the inside of their head.
For young children, play is a way to learn new skills and stimulate their developing brains. Different kinds of play will fire up different connections and promote different skills and learning. When you play with a child, you are also expressing love as a means of learning.
In our centres, we are extremely proud to have carefully designed to create calming, beautiful and inspirational moments during each and every day for our passionate teachers, for our families and most of all – for your little one to play and develop at their own pace independently or alongside passionate and loving teachers.
Babies need loving care from the very start. Children get the best start in life when they spend their early years lovingly nurtured by engaged adults and caregivers. The babies can feel loved through a simple touch and a hug and even by a smile that says, “I’m here for you”. A loving environment nurtures and empowers a child.
As children have very little control over their environment, it depends on us adults to keep them safe and provide them the most nurturing, safe physical and emotional environment. Love, warmth and affection expressed by parents result in long-lasting positive outcomes for children.
And that’s why Chrysalis, Magic Kingdom, Fern Garden and Milky Way are committed to creating the most beautiful award winning environments for fostering the well-being of babies and young children, with high-quality (and again award winning) early childhood programs, high adult: child ratios and teachers who are equally passionate to provide similar loving experiences.
Similar to how the elements of fire, water & air create balance and harmony that sustain life on Earth, these three principles – Eat, Play and Love – also lay a strong foundation for a strong and balanced development of a child.
Watch an uplifting 2 minute clip called “The Beginning of Life” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHqUMqvL1RQ
*Eat, Play, Love is a UNICEF initiative.