Understanding the architecture of the brain

Neural circuits are built in a hierarchy, from the bottom up. This means the foundations must be strong to support further growth.

The foundations of brain development begin before birth and continue developing at a rapid rate in a child’s early years. As babies learn about themselves and the world around them, they develop these foundations to support the future learning of new skills.

Each newly acquired skill lays a foundation for the development of the next to be built on top. These foundations, the brain development in the first years of a child’s life, will create the basis for future learning and development for the rest of their life.

Timing is important

There are critical times for certain brain development to occur, as the brain is programmed for events and experiences to happen at particular times. For example, language development depends on adequate hearing, so if hearing loss is not diagnosed and steps taken at an early age, the brain cannot receive sounds that lead to language development, which will inhibit the development of the language part of the brain.

Engaging with your child and monitoring their developmental milestones can help to ensure your child’s development is on track, or allow you to seek assistance if needed.

Image Young child uses large connecting blocks, learning through unstructured play

Published — 01 September 2016 Last updated — 28 August 2018

More like this

Want personalised tips and activities?

Complete these short questions to get personalised tips and activities to see how simple and easy it can be.

Get started
01 / 05

What is your relationship with the child?


What best describes your location?


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


And finally…

Do you speak another language at home apart from English?
Are you of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent?
Does the child need additional support with their development or learning?
Now we know a little more about the content that might interest you we’ve compiled it into a handy page for you.