Get Them While They're Young! Top 10 Reasons For Early Education

Looking at Early Childhood Education from an economic point of view can be very interesting: brain science tells us that supporting children when they are very young is a lot more cost-efficient than waiting until they are school-aged. This is the conclusion of a recently published report from the Bridespan Group and the Pritzker Children's Initiative.

1. Ninety percent of physical brain development occurs in the first three years of life, when a baby forms 700 new neural connections per second.These are the 10 of the most important findings of the report:

2. When a young child enters kindergarten ready for school, there is an 82 percent chance that child will master basic skills by age 11, compared with a 45 percent chance for children who are not school ready.

3. Later in life, at-risk children who do not get high-quality early childhood experiences are 25 percent more likely to drop out of school, 40 percent more likely to become teen parents, and 60 percent less likely to attend college.

4. Comprehensive early interventions that combine health, nutrition, and learning have the potential to reduce risk factors associated with chronic diseases, such as hypertension and high blood sugar, well into adulthood.

5. Investment in high-quality early childhood programs for at-risk children from birth to age five delivers a 7–10 percent [annual] return on investment through better education, health, social and economic outcomes, increased productivity, and the reduced need for social spending.

6. Lifetime earnings gains from increased enrollment in early childhood education would outweigh the costs of these programs (the estimated gain in lifetime income per participant is $9,166 to $30,851 after subtracting the cost of the programs).

7. Combined annual per capita public spending at the state and federal level on education for six- to eighteen-year-olds is nearly four times as high as spending on children from birth to five.

8. The United States ranks 31st in a group of 32 developed nations in the percentage of public education dollars allocated to early childhood.

9. Evidence-based home visitation programs reached only 115,000 children in 2014, an estimated 2.5 percent of the need.

10. Over the 2011–12 school year, the proportion of children in three- and four-star [child-care and education] centers with age-appropriate skills increased from 33 percent to nearly 66 percent."

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How Can Kids Learn How to Learn?

As parents we constantly worry about our children - will they learn enough at school to succeed later in life to have a good career or chose a profession that will give them satisfaction and enough money? Do they make friends easily? How much freedom do we need to give them, do we want to give them? How much or how little screen time? This list could go and on...

Learn with Practice and Ben and BellaHere are the evidence based hard facts around learning - what's good and what's not so good! Let's just say practice makes perfect! And that makes perfect get your kiddies and dance, practice and mimick English words with #BenandBella!
One thing parents think about is learning and homework and there are lots of different opinions out there. Wouldn't it be great if we could just teach our kids learn how to learn?

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It's Never Too Late To Learn Another Language

Our brains and minds are fascinating - how wonderful to know that our brains can change throughout our lives giving us empowerment to become the person we truly want to be. Research around language acquisition, bilingualism and learning shows that learning new skills, learning another language and being mentally active has countless benefits.

In an article in Penn State News Karen Miller, director of Penn State's Language Acquisition Lab and assistant professor of Spanish linguistics explains that. "Bilingual speakers have two languages, both of which are always activated, regardless of whether the individual is aware of that activity or not," Miller explains.

"Psycholinguistic research indicates that this continuous co-activation of two languages produces competition, so that the bilingual person is functionally a mental juggler, with the words, grammar, and sounds of both languages available, at least momentarily, when a bilingual is attempting to use one language alone. The hypothesis is that bilinguals learn to resolve cross-language competition and, in the process, acquire cognitive control that enables them to resolve competition more generally when other non-language cognitive processes conflict."

And one of the most important finding is is that it's never too late:

"One of the most important and fascinating findings in the current literature is that it is never too late!" Miller says. "Even late bilinguals, past early childhood, reveal many of these positive cognitive consequences. Likewise, older claims about limits to second language learning, suggesting that adults could not fully acquire the grammar of a second language, have been criticized. New data, especially neuroscience data, show that late learners are indeed able to acquire native-like proficiency."

Ben & Bella can help your children to playfully develop and activate areas of the brain to build an awareness of speaking another language, being immersed in it and having fun learning it. Help your child to become an active bilingual speaker in a playful and charming way.

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