Healthy start to life

In the early years, young children are primed to learn from their environment, through relationships with parents and family members, and everyday experiences.

In a child’s first three years, their brain will grow from approximately 25% to 80-90% of the adult brain size. Over just five years, from birth to attending school, children are experiencing rapid growth in cognitive, language, social and emotional development.

Early years experiences and learning sets the foundations for success later in life, and providing a healthy start can have a great impact on the rest of their life. Habits formed at home in the early years, including healthy eating and exercise habits, as well as positive social relationships and emotional control, can influence a child’s view on the world and last well into adult life.

The early years play a vital role in shaping longer-term health, learning and wellbeing.


What can I do?

Your child is learning through every experience and interaction, shaping an understanding of themselves, the world around them and where they belong. Their brain is developing the base foundation to support further learning and skill development.

During this time, important windows of opportunity for growth and development occur.

By providing a stable, loving and caring, healthy environment with early learning opportunities, you are supporting your child’s positive development, which can have a lifelong impact.

Getting support

Reach out to your support network when you need advice or help on forming healthy habits or caring for your child. No child comes with an instruction manual, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need.

Image Child playing outdoors with a tricycle practices physical skills

Published — 10 October 2016 Last updated — 18 August 2017

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What is your relationship with the child?


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If you had a spare moment, what would you most likely do with the child?


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Do you speak another language at home apart from English?
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Does the child need additional support with their development or learning?
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