Every environment where children are interacting with adults matters and presents opportunities for rich engagements and relationships. Early interactions are foundational to all the later learning and life successes that follow. (Inside Early Talk, 2021)

Children who are rarely spoken to, exposed to few toys, and have little opportunity to explore and experiment with their environment will struggle to fully develop the neural connections and pathways that facilitate learning now and later.


  • One million new neural connections in a child’s brain every second (Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard University)
  • Early childhood development is largely influenced by the nature of parental/carer engagement
  • Early Language exposure, in particular interactive talk, is one of the strongest predictors of brain development
  • The amount of conversational turns (back and forth interactions) children experience correlates with their brain activity and brain structure, and is predictive of IQ and language skills in adolescence
  • At home, children engage in 73% more conversational turns, and they hear 28% more adult words than children in a traditional child care environment.

The more frequently children have a positive experience (e.g., every time they see someone smile at them, or they hear a familiar nursery rhyme), the stronger the connections in their brain become. Every experience helps build crucial language, literacy, and the social and emotional skills needed for healthy development.

Links to research: