Journal Issue: Caring for Infants and Toddlers Volume 11 Number 1 Spring/Summer 2001
Although the processes of early development remain something of a mystery, enough is known to enable twenty-first-century parents, practitioners, and policymakers to foster the healthy growth of the body, mind, person, and brain. Because the early years are important, young children merit a high priority, even though they cannot speak for themselves. Because early relationships matter, society is wise to value those who relate to young children daily. Because children are active participants in their own development, the most sensitive care is that which is aligned with the child's interests, needs, and goals. Because experience can elucidate, or diminish, inborn potential, early environments must be designed to ensure young children's health, safety, and well-being. And because the early years are a period of considerable opportunity for growth and vulnerability to harm, society wisely does not take for granted the well-being of young children. Instead, we share responsibility as adults to guarantee for each child the opportunity to thrive in the early years of life.