Early learning refers to the skills and concepts that children develop before they reach kindergarten. It is a crucial part of development and can set patterns for both school and adult learning.
By studying early learning, researchers can figure out the best ways for parents and caregivers to encourage children to develop these skills and concepts and to put children on a path to becoming lifetime learners.
About Early Learning
Children begin learning in the womb. Good learning experiences during their early years—whether at home, in childcare, or in preschool—will support their lifelong learning, health, and well-being.
Why is early learning important?
Early learning paves the way for learning throughout life. What children learn in their first few years of life—and how they learn it—can have long-lasting effects on their success and health.
What are some factors that affect early learning?
A child’s home, family, and daily life have a strong effect on his or her ability to learn. Parents and guardians can control some things in their child’s life and environment, but not everything.
Why is it important to study early learning?
Early learning can improve children’s health and have long-lasting benefits. Studying which factors affect early learning and education will help researchers identify opportunities for real impact.
How can parents and caregivers promote early learning?
Every day is filled with opportunities to help your child learn. You can help by reading out loud, teaching through conversation, listening and responding, and practicing counting together.
NICHD Early Learning Research Information
NICHD conducts and supports research on early learning and on disorders associated with early learning.
Find a Study
Find a Study on Early Learning
NICHD conducts and supports a variety of clinical research projects related to early learning.
Other Early Learning FAQs
Find answers to other common questions about early learning, such as where to find information about early educational programs and what is "school readiness."
Early Learning Resources
Links to websites of groups that study or provide information about early learning.