In the first years of life, neurons in our brain form new connections at the astounding rate of 700–1,000 per second – a pace never repeated again.
These connections are the building blocks of a child’s future. But if a child is poorly nourished and nurtured, if she isn’t stimulated properly and protected from violence, then her development is seriously affected, sometimes irreversibly.
A child whose brain does not develop properly may not learn as well or earn as much. Not developing to her full potential hurts both her and society.
The first 1,000 days have a significant effect on a child’s future. We have one chance to get it right.
For every child, early moments matter.
“What’s the most important thing a child has? It’s her brain. And yet, we’re not caring for children’s brains the way we care for their bodies.”
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
UNICEF in action
Imagine a world in which all children, everywhere, achieve their developmental potential by 5 years of age. UNICEF aims to make this vision a reality by the year 2030.