Why Early Childhood Education is No Small Matter

“Over the last twenty years, a revolution in our understanding of early childhood has led to one, inescapable conclusion: the experiences we have in the first five years of life shape our brains and bodies in profound and lasting ways; it’s no longer about “nature versus nurture”, but how the two work together to shape who we become.” – No Small Matter, 2018

At New Moms, we make a constant effort to educate ourselves on the latest issues affecting our work, as well as exploring new methods for program delivery. On July 11th, we had our annual Staff Retreat, and screened a special viewing of the 2018 documentary, No Small Matter. No Small Matter provides an intriguing and important insight into why exactly what we do at New Moms matters on a national scale.

No Small Matter delves into the importance of early childhood development and explains how it is critical for children ages 0-5 to receive loving, supportive care and play—as those are the most important years for brain development—and how children in low-income families are at a higher risk of not being able to receive high-quality care due to the rising costs of childcare. The filmmakers elaborate that “Higher income parents have more money and time to invest in their kids’ early care and education; as a result, kids from wealthier families start kindergarten up to two years ahead of low-income kids, a gap in opportunity that becomes a gap in achievement that only reinforces the cycle of poverty. Kids who fall behind in school are more 3 likely to drop out, and high school dropouts are eight times more likely than graduates to end up in prison.” 

New Moms’ Family-Centered Approach model applies brain and behavioral science to services that address the needs and goals of young moms and children experiencing poverty. By implementing this science through development-friendly practices, we are able to positively shape children’s brains and create vital neural connections. The film reinforces how working with children at a young age benefits not just the child, but the entire community, as Experts calculate that the return on investment (ROI) for quality early childhood education — in terms of money saved in the health care system, in prisons, in tax revenue, in special education — is somewhere between $4 and $13 for every one dollar invested in a young child.” At New Moms, according to the social return on investment study conducted by the Social Impact Research Center of Heartland Alliance, “for every $1 invested in New Moms integrated programming there is a $1.04 return on investment at two years and a $3.81 return on investment at 5 years.” These findings show that “investing in New Moms generates nearly a 4-fold return for every dollar invested.”

Watch the trailer below, and click here to learn more information about No Small Matter and how early childhood education is crucial to creating strong communities and setting up children for successful futures.

Learn how to view No Small Matter it in your community:


Posted on July 31, 2019

New Moms (Chicago)
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Chicago, IL 60651


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