Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wisconsin Senate Early Learning Resolution

Bi-partisan Senate Joint Resolution 59 was recently passed.  It is a powerful piece of legislation concerning early childhood brain development that relates to youth services advocacy. See also Dr. Dipesh Navsaria's post about the resolution on the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association blog.

2013 Senate Joint Resolution 59

Relating to: early childhood brain development.

Whereas, research over the last two decades from the evolving sciences of neuroscience, molecular biology, public health, genomics, and epigenetics reveals that experiences in the first thousand days of life build changes into the biology of the human body, which in turn influence a lifetime of physical and mental health; and
Whereas, these early experiences literally shape the physical architecture of a child's developing brain and establish either a sturdy or a fragile foundation for all the learning, health, and behavior that follows; and
Whereas, chronic, unrelenting stress in early childhood caused by conditions such as extreme poverty, repeated abuse, neglect, severe maternal depression, parental substance abuse, and violence can be toxic to a child's developing brain; and
Whereas, early adversity can result in poor physical and mental health outcomes reverberating well into late adulthood; and
Whereas, a critical factor in buffering children from the effects of toxic stress is the existence of supportive, stable relationships between children and their families, caregivers, and other important people in their lives; and
Whereas, it is more effective and less costly to positively influence the architecture of a young child's developing brain than to attempt to correct poor learning, health, and behaviors later in life; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That policy decisions enacted by the Wisconsin state legislature will acknowledge and take into account the principles of early childhood brain development and will, whenever possible, consider the concepts of toxic stress, early adversity, and buffering relationships, and note the role of early intervention and investment in early childhood years as important strategies to achieve a lasting foundation for a more prosperous and sustainable state through investing in human capital.