“Having academic and technical skills will get you on track to a profession, but if you really want to go the distance you need to be a good listener, manage your emotions and work well on a team. Employers can’t instill these skills overnight—they’re part of the brain power machinery that’s developed in kids’ earliest years.” — Wilbert W. James, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.

The early preschool years are a critical time for skill formation and lay the foundation for future success in school and beyond.  Practice-based evidence and scientific research have demonstrated the importance of early experiences as well as the interactions between genetics and environment.

A new report from ReadyNation, Social-Emotional Skills in Early Childhood Support Workforce Success: Why business executives want employees who play well with othersdiscusses the importance of tending to social and emotional development of infants and young children in order to increase the odds that today’s children will grow up with the skills they need to better function in school, in the workplace, and in their adult lives.

In a recent Zogby Survey of 300 business decision-makers, 92 percent agreed that early childhood experiences affect the development of social-emotional skills later in life.

The ReadyNation report examines how social-emotional skills formed in early childhood contribute to building a strong workforce, and provides direct statements from several major company executives who explain why they support investing in children’s social-emotional development – that a workforce equipped with strong set of social-emotional skills is vital to the economy’s success.

Over the last twenty-five years we have gained a greater understanding about what can hinder and what can promote healthy social and emotional development. Children who are unable to attain early social and emotional milestones do not do well in early school years, and research indicates that children who start behind tend to stay behind.

In the U.S., approximately 2.7 million children have experienced at least two Adverse Childhood Events  (ACEs) before the age of 5:

Research shows that children who experience ACEs are at a higher risk for a variety of negative issues as adults, ranging from increased rates of physical and/or mental illnesses, to lower educational attainment, to increased rates of unemployment, incarceration, and/or homelessness.

Conversely, promoting healthy social-emotional development in infants and young children, increases the odds that those children will successfully complete high school, are more likely to earn a college degree, and are more likely to obtain full-time employment as adults.

Infant mental health (IMH) is synonymous with social and emotional development in our youngest children. Social and emotional development involves skills such as self confidence, curiosity, motivation, persistence, self control, and trust–all of which affect future learning, growth, and success. The development of all of these traits begins in infancy and within the context of relationships. Emotional and social milestones include a child’s ability to experience, regulate and express emotions, and form close and secure interpersonal relationships. A child’s capacities to identify their own feelings, experience empathy for another and constructively manage strong emotions are skills that begin in early childhood and support later learning.

Visit this link to download the full report from ReadyNation: https://www.strongnation.org/articles/393-social-emotional-skills-in-early-childhood-support-workforce-success

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