ERIC Number: ED426126
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Brain Development: Nearly Half of California Parents Unaware of Important First Three Years. Growing Up Well. Focus on Prevention.
Hochstein, Miles; Halfon, Neal
This report, seventh of eight in a series, discusses the views of California parents about the significance of a child's early years, their preparation for parenting, and how well their communities meet their child care needs. The California Center for Health Improvement's (CCHI) Children and Youth Survey asked California parents several questions about child development. When parents were asked when the greatest amount of brain development occurs in children, nearly half did not correctly identify the years from birth to age 3. Fifty-seven percent of fathers were unaware of the importance of the first 3 years, while 37% of mothers were unaware. The first years influence all subsequent development, but the path from birth to school entry is a path Californians are supposed to negotiate largely on their own. The CCHI survey asked parents how prepared they were to raise their first child. A third said they were not well prepared, or not at all prepared, for parenting; another third said they were only somewhat prepared. Some programs are being developed to address these issues, and other initiatives show that policy makers are considering issues of child care. Child care services, school-linked early intervention, and developmental services are all part of a broad public infrastructure of child development in California, but these components do not yet function as a well-integrated system. Steps toward integrated service delivery, including expansion of the Healthy Start program, are being made. To maximize the development potential of young children, families need basic support between a child's birth and entry into school. Policy recommendations are made in the five areas of: (1) parent education; (2) family resource centers; (3) parenting support; (4) quality child care; and (5) a statewide child development program. (Contains 6 tables and 17 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: California Wellness Foundation.
Authoring Institution: California Center for Health Improvement, Sacramento.
Identifiers - Location: California