What we experience in our early years has a lasting impact on our mind, brain and body. The time from pregnancy until age four is the most rapid period of development in our lives. What happens during this time provides the foundation for all future learning, behaviour and health. By providing children with the opportunities and environments for healthy development, we give them the best foundation for current – and future – physical, emotional and social wellbeing.

During pregnancy, a mother’s experiences (such as harmony or stress) and environments (such as healthy food or exposure to toxins) will shape how a baby’s mind, brain and body develops. When Tasmanian mothers have the support of family and friends, access to nutritious foods, safe environments and regular health care, their baby’s health and development is also well supported.

From birth, a baby’s experiences and environments continue to have a lasting effect on their health and wellbeing. As a baby grows and discovers the world around them, positive experiences, caring relationships and safe, healthy environments support their growth and development. This provides the very best opportunity for lifelong wellbeing and success.

To get the best start in life, children need:

Loving and secure relationships

Healthy food and environments

Positive and inclusive communitiesA sense of belonging

Access to services and support

Why are the early years so important?

A conversation with B4 Leaders and Friends about why the period from pregnancy to age four is a once in a lifetime developmental window of opportunity, providing the foundation for all future learning, behaviour and health.