Why the First Three Years?
The first three years of life are an extraordinary and vital part of our children’s growth and development. 85% of brain development happens by the time a child turns three years old.
First3Years was founded in 1980 by early childhood clinicians who were concerned about the quality of care young children receive. They wanted to create opportunities to support all infants and toddlers’ early health and development during this critical developmental period. At the center of their vision was the understanding that everyday interactions and play, along with responsive, nurturing care can build healthy brains and a strong start for all children.
Today, First3Years has become a trusted expert and advisor on all things related to infants and toddlers, from positive parenting tips to quality child care to foster care, First3Years is a trusted source for helping children and families thrive.
Each year, our programs impact more than 179,000 children through our work to:
- Increase awareness of the critical importance of the first three years of life;
- Support conditions that enhance the quality of infant and toddler/caregiver relationships;
- Advocate for policies and practices that support the healthy development of young children; and
- Educate the birth-to-three workforce in best practices.
We believe that in supporting parents, caregivers, and professionals, they must have access to current research about infant/toddler development to help children reach their greatest potential. For more than 40 years, we have played an important role in advancing awareness movements around the state to advance healthy infant/toddler development. We are now poised to take our work to the next level and make a significantly larger impact.
Toddlers have more than 100 trillion synapses at age two, the most they’ll ever have in their life because the brain structure has the overall appearance of an adult brain.
Introducing Baby Day
Imagine waking up to a day that celebrated the excitement and opportunity of the tiniest Texans. Where families meet for playdates in parks, workplaces provide flexibility and support to new parents, and politicians pledge to support our future by building stronger policies for the leaders of tomorrow…the babies of today.
Just imagine all that energy coming together for one big day but carrying on in spirit and action through the years.
That would be a Baby Day.
In 2019, First3Years launched Baby Day, the only statewide celebration of the first three years, when early experiences shape lifelong potential.
Parents have the greatest impact on their child’s development. The better we can connect and provide parents with support, resources, and guidance, the greater the positive impact we have on children.
Each of us have a role to play and here are just some of the things you can do to help:
- Businesses can offer employees flexible hours to allow employees time to spend with their children.
- Museums can welcome families by extending free admissions.
- Cities can stand alongside their officials in support of early childhood development.
We invite you to join us for our 5th Annual Baby Day taking place April 2023, a day we will acknowledge and celebrate this incredible period of growth in our tiniest Texans.