Increasingly, brain development research is revealing that the foundation for social and economic mobility in adulthood is built in early childhood. As a result of adversity and toxic stress in early childhood, including economic hardship, brain development is frequently impeded. These changes to brain development have lasting implications into adulthood and lead to increased societal burdens. Indicators in this area of child well-being track attempt to measure those activities that mitigate the negative impacts of adverse childhood experiences of early childhood brain development.
Increasingly, brain research is demonstrating the critical importance of the early years of a child's life. In fact, 80 percent of brain growth occurs between the ages of 0 and 3 years old. When children experience stress and trauma during that critical period of brain growth, cognitive, social and emotional impairments often arise. Fortunately, these impairments can be addressed through interventions that involve parents, communities and programs.