Why it’s important

Did you know that up to 90% of a child’s brain development happens in the first 5 years?

Research is now telling us that when babies and children get what they need – it can have a lasting effect on their future.

Sharing stories, rhymes, singing, talking and playing with your child from birth builds a foundation for your child’s future development that can last a lifetime.

Why is First 5 Forever important for Queensland families?

We all want Queensland children to have the best opportunities in life and have the greatest chance to succeed. Current research shows the valuable role parents and caregivers’ have in supporting their child’s early development.

First 5 Forever aims to provide strong emergent literacy foundations and life-long learning capabilities for all Queensland children 0-5 years, by directly supporting parents and primary caregivers as their child’s first and most important educator.

Let’s work together as a community to support each other and build on the endless opportunities families have daily to interact with their children and provide opportunities for learning. This means spending time in the early years talking, playing and reading with our children so their growing brains get what they need!

Mother and child at the supermarket

Mother and child at the supermarket

About parents’ and caregivers’ valuable role

Babies and young children learn best by listening and interacting with the important adults in their lives during everyday activities – whether that’s talking about what you can see on the way to the park, singing nursery rhymes, pointing out something you both view out the window, or learning new words while shopping for groceries.

That’s why First 5 Forever connects parents to a range of resources and ideas for you to try, and links you to your local library for more ideas and information you can use any place, any time.

At free Baby time, Rhyme time and Story time sessions at your local library you can also meet other families and have fun finding old and new favourite rhymes and stories that you can share with your child at home.

What research tells us

  • Shared activities at home and out and about in the early years are important in the development of language skills later on, and research highlights the significant role that parents play in helping their babies build a strong foundation for future learning¹.
  • In the first few years of life approximately 700 new neural connections in the brain are formed every second. These connections are created partly though genetics and partly through a baby’s environment and experiences².
  • Children are born ready to learn and some of the best learning comes from nurturing relationships³.

Footnotes / References

  1. Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs, (2010) Engaging Families in the Early Childhood Development Story
  2. Center on the Developing Child (2009). Five Numbers to Remember About Early Childhood Development (Brief).
  3. Australian Institute of Family Studies (2014) Children’s early home learning environment and learning outcomes in the early years of school