We know from science that brains are built from the bottom up.
During the first three years of life, the brain undergoes its most dramatic development, and children acquire the ability to think, speak, learn, and reason. The early experiences of young children will shape the architecture of their brains in enduring ways and build the foundation – whether strong or weak – for their future development. For that reason, we strongly encourage you to emphasize the importance of supporting early learning beginning from birth as you apply for and implement PDG B-5. This includes focusing intentionally on the settings and programs where babies are served, including Early Head Start (EHS); child care centers; family child care homes; and family, friend, and neighbor care – all critical partners in the birth to five Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) mixed delivery system. It is equally important that states consider how they can strengthen connections between ECCE settings and the broader early childhood system, including Part C early intervention, home visiting, health, mental health, nutrition, child welfare, economic security and family support services.
This document explains how PDG B-5 planning and renewal grants could be used to address ECCE system challenges specific to infants and toddlers and offers recommendations for specific strategies that states could include in PDG B-5 plans to improve outcomes for babies