Despite marketing claims that some television programs and DVDs help infants and toddlers learn, recent studies show that TV provides only empty calories for a child’s growing brain. The following research brief reviews the evidence that parents and caregivers of young children should take television off the menu.

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There’s an old saying that “play is the work of childhood,” and this issue of Research to Policy looks at the ways in which play works to shape the developing brains of young children in Memphis. Research shows us that play supports early brain development in impressive ways.

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Kindergarten Ready

The baby announcements have been sent out. You’ve gotten the hang of that tricky car seat. And now all you can think about is... sleep. While you may not be thinking any farther than that next nap, believe it or not, your baby’s brain is way ahead of you. That’s right, amidst those cries, feedings, and photo-worthy coos, your baby’s brain is making vital, critical connections and developments that will determine how ready they are for their first day in kindergarten.

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Through my work and involvement with The Urban Child Institute, I have learned that during the first three years of a child's life, family, home environment, and interactions with adults are the major factors in shaping the mental foundation for learning. Making the most of children's early upbringing has the potential to improve education and health and decrease poverty and unemployment – issues that are of great interest to me as someone who is concerned about the future of our community and our country.

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