Nourishing a child’s mind in the first five years of life is as essential as feeding her body. New scientific research confirms that what happens to children’s brains in their earliest years shapes the adults they become, the success they achieve, and the contributions they make to our economy and society. Unfortunately, too many of our kids today are not getting the nourishment they need.
Researchers have identified what they’re calling a “word gap.” Many children who grow up in low-income families enter school with substantially smaller vocabularies than their classmates. And this disadvantage leads to further disparities in achievement and success over time, from academic performance and persistence to earnings and family stability even 20 and 30 years later.