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Toxic Stress and Its Sources

Toxic stress in families with young children is rarely the product of a single cause, but a confluence of factors that contribute to a breakdown in familial bonding. The presence of outright abuse or neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse or depression in the family are, of course, obvious signs of that breakdown, and effectively undercut the parent-child bond as a crucial source of emotional stability for young children. Read More

April 22, 2014  |  Posted in General

Families, Children and Stress

As social and economic pressures facing families continue to mount, the incidence of stress as a chronic physiological condition is increasing. The effects of prolonged stress on individual adults are high enough—its relationship to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, suppressed immune function and other health issues is well documented. Read More

April 16, 2014  |  Posted in General

Celebrate Week of the Young Child by Promoting Fitness and Learning

April 6-12 is the Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Nebraska AEYC. “Early Years Are Learning Years” is the focus this year. Read More

April 10, 2014  |  Posted in General

Why Music Matters

Do you remember songs from your childhood? Does hearing a particular song evoke memories of people, events or places in your past? Dick Clark said music is the soundtrack of our lives, and just as music can have a powerful effect on us as adults, it can have an equally strong impact on the developing brains of young children. Read More

April 03, 2014  |  Posted in General Research

Tips for Reading with Toddlers

It's no secret that children benefit greatly when adults read to them. The positive interaction builds neural connections in their developing brains, reinforces basic speech skills and boosts self-esteem by making them feel secure and cared for. We invite you to celebrate International Children’s Book Day next Wednesday, April 2, by finding a good book and reading to the special kiddos in your life! Read More

March 27, 2014  |  Posted in General

Increased Graduation Rates Could Generate $1.3 Billion for Nebraskans

Converting one year’s worth of high school dropouts in Nebraska into high graduates would create an additional $1.3 billion in lifetime earnings for those students, says Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. James Heckman. Read More

March 20, 2014  |  Posted in General

Investing in Early Childhood Is a Winning Proposition for Nebraska

It’s the state basketball championship game at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, and your team is down three points with one minute to play. You have the ball and one timeout. Both teams are in the double-bonus. Read More

March 13, 2014  |  Posted in General

Success in School Starts with Attachment and Bonding at Home

What’s key to a child forming healthy attachments? “Somebody’s got to be crazy about that kid. That’s number one. First, last, and always,” said developmental psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner. Read More

February 27, 2014  |  Posted in General

Play It Forward

Families that play together build strong relationships. Whether it's reading together, playing board games during cold, blustery days or playing outside in the summer, interacting with young children helps build the strong neural foundation and social-emotional skills they'll need to succeed in school and later in life. Read More

January 08, 2014  |  Posted in General

Science of Brain Development

Babies are born ready to learn. At birth, the brain contains about 100 billion neurons that are connected by synapses carrying electrochemical signals in response to stimuli from the world around us. During the earliest years, those synapses are firing at an astonishing rate, and they become the neural foundation upon which everything else is built. Read More

January 03, 2014  |  Posted in General
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