– Babies are not empty vessels waiting to be filled with knowledge. Over the last three decades, scientists have discovered that, during their first months and years, children are much more influenced by their environment than previously assumed. This is what the filmmaker Estela Renner discovered in speaking with early-childhood experts and parents around the world. “I didn’t know that kids were not blank slates. It changed the way I look at babies,” she said.

– If more people understood this fact, the way communities and policymakers invest in early education would be different. According to Alison Gopnik, a psychology professor in child development, “babies are the best learning machines in the universe.” “They are the world’s original inventors,” said for her part Patricia Kuhl, the co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Science at the the University of Washington. Charles Nelson, who studied the effects of early experiences on brain and behavioral development, compares the first years to the construction of the frame of a house. Children need a supportive early environment to thrive later in life.



Baby Alan (ChildUp.com)