The first five years are a critical time for human development and lay the foundation for making healthy choices over the course of a lifetime. Good nutrition, social and emotional skill building, physical exercise, and strong relationships with nurturing adults help lay the groundwork for lifelong health. Research shows that high-quality child care meets these fundamental needs for children’s healthy development and supports family resilience.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and exposure to toxic stress can lead to impaired cognitive development, social and emotional behavioral challenges, chronic illness and increased likelihood of substance abuse. It takes just one loving, nurturing adult, like a qualified early educator, to buffer the impact of ACEs and minimize these short- and long-term behavioral and physical health challenges.
Let’s Grow Kids is working with health care and child care professionals across the state to develop innovative opportunities for collaboration to help give Vermont children a healthy start in life. To learn how Vermont health care providers are already making a difference for kids, please contact Beverly Boget, director of early childhood health care integration (by email or by calling 802-355-6334).