Today marks the start of National Public Health Week, and the American Public Health Association is launching their annual event with a day to emphasize the importance of “Being Healthy from the Start”. The APHA reports that public health begins at home. It is imperative for families and other members of the community to address health and development beginning at an early age. There is increasing recognition that the first few years of a child’s life are a particularly sensitive period in the process of development, laying a foundation for valuable life skills during childhood. Early childhood education programs are valuable resources for parents to get their children involved within the community. There is evidence to suggest that children who participate in these programs tend to be more successful in later school, are more competent socially and emotionally, and show better verbal, intellectual and physical development during early childhood.
UNH has a great program here on campus, which focuses on the education and health of younger children. The Child Study and Development Center is a laboratory school affiliated with UNH which provides local child care and educational services. The purpose of the facility is to create a nonrestrictive environment of collaborative inquiry through which children develop inquiry, resourcefulness, critical thinking, problem-solving, autonomy, and deliberate attention. The experienced and welcoming staff are active participants in all aspects of the program. University students who are enrolled in education, occupational therapy, psychology and communication disorder programs have the opportunity to observe and engage in classroom activities with the children. If you have any interest in working with children, check out the CSDC for further information about educational opportunities!