The first 1000 days

Introducing the child to the richness and variety of information that each of its senses can provide is crucial during the first first 1000 days of life. This is one of the missions of the “5 senses for kids Foundation”.

The unsuspected importance of the first 1000 days

During the period from conception to the first two years, the brain develops more than at any other time in our lives. It is functionally structured into large networks of analysis and interpretation which will become stronger if they are regularly called upon.

It is in the dialogue between sensory stimuli and the innate organising functions of the brain that the acquisition of knowledge takes place. This is what is known as cognitive development.

The 5 senses for kids Foundation pays special attention to these first 1,000 days of a child’s life. This is the time when the foundations are laid for the rest of life. It is the time when the environment affects us the most. This period is crucial for the proper development and construction of the child.

Helping parents during these first 1000 days

According to the European Commission’s draft Joint Employment Report 2019, 62.9% of children whose parents have low-skilled jobs are at risk of social exclusion and poverty. This is also the case for almost half of children in single-parent families.

Providing a healthy and protective environment allows children to flourish.

On the 5 senses for kids Foundation website you will find examples of play activities to support your baby’s sensory learning. We have thought of these recommendations to accompany you in the first moments of parenthood. The aim is to give your child the best possible chance to develop.

We can thus help young children to direct their attention, to bring into play their different memories and to take advantage of different sources of information to better decipher the world and to form generalizable concepts that are indispensable for the maturation of language.

The 5 senses for kids Foundation is part of the dynamics of this report. We support initiatives that help to restore equal opportunities. Children from all social and family backgrounds can reveal their cognitive potential. They are given the same opportunities as others to develop and have a balanced adult life.

All cognitive functions (through the development of children’s brain) will be crucial for their schooling and future adult life. Of course, these sensory discovery activities must be done at each child’s own pace, in a reassuring and playful context, and without over-soliciting the child.

We cannot stress this enough. Your child’s future is at stake from the very first years of life. Nurture the sensory abilities of the newborn. Help them to exercise their senses and explore the richness of the world around them.

First 1000 Days Report

From September 2019 to September 2020, a “1000 first days” commission, chaired by neuropsychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik, brought together 18 experts from different specialties: specialists in child education or early learning, field players in the social support of parents, clinicians specialising in pregnancy and young children, midwives.

Many aspects were discussed. We would like to give you an overview.

Improving the conditions of birth

The report calls for special attention to be paid to the health and living conditions of women and their partners before, during and after pregnancy. It is also imperative to pay special attention to the health of the child and its parents during the first years of life.

This requires prevention, but also support and advice for future and young parents.

Providing a healthy and welcoming environment for the child requires information on :

  • nutrition and physical activity,
  • alcohol and tobacco,
  • maternal and child illnesses,
  • the consequences of illicit drugs on the health of parents and children,
  • the consequences of domestic and educational violence,
  • vaccination,
  • injuries and trauma (burns, falls, etc.),
  • pollution.

Providing personalised support for parents

The report encourages the provision of information and support structures to help parents create the best possible environment for the child.

It requires a huge effort to raise awareness among health professionals, childcare professionals and parents. 5 senses for kids Foundation wants to contribute to this effort in the best way possible, by bridging the gap between scientific research on baby development and the people who are most interested in this research, namely parents.

You can find the report by clicking below :