When most people think of early childhood development, what comes to mind is preprimary school learning; similarly, when they think about how best to ensure a child turns out well, their thoughts turn to adolescents. The FrameWorks Institute in Washington, DC, calls this “aging up,” a phenomenon that has been demonstrated as a bias in policy and public thinking in several countries, including South Africa (Richter, Tomlinson, Watt, Hunt, & Lindland, 2019). Yet it is the earliest period of life, from conception to two to three years of age, that most strongly regulates our trajectory across the course of our lives (Shonkoff, Richter, van der Gaag, & Bhutta, 2012) and that influences how children cope with early formal learning and the challenges of adolescence.
Richter, L. (2019). The Nurturing Care Framework: From Policies to Parents. Occasional Paper Series, 2019 (42). Retrieved from https://educate.bankstreet.edu/occasional-paper-series/vol2019/iss42/2