Matheny Medical CEO on the Importance of Early Education

Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Dr. Kendell Sprott, JD, President & CEO, Matheny Medical and Education Center, to discuss the importance of early education and early development and the challenges many parents face in finding affordable, quality child care for their infants and toddlers.

3/28/18 #2123






"Right From the Start NJ is pleased to welcome Doctor Kendell Sprott, President and CEO of Matheny Medical and Education Center. Doctor, thank you for joining us, as part of this ongoing series, Right From the Start NJ, you'll see the website up throughout this entire segment. Check it out. It is part of an ongoing educational initiative to teach folks, educate and inform and engage folks, about the importance... excuse me, of birth to three. Right away, we're gonna show a graphic that talks about brain development during that period of time. Break it down for us. What goes on during that time for infants and toddlers? So on this slide, it talks about the synapse formation. And those are the connections between the brain cells. When a child is born, the number of brain cells is the same number of cells that they'll have for the rest of their lives. Now the brain cells will grow, but the connections, which really determine the function and how the brain works, start to develop. And they reach their critical point between two and three years of age. And after that, the number of synapses you see start to decline. And so it becomes important that during those initial three years, that those synapses be fully developed. Especially as it relates to language and some of the sensory patterns, as well as the motor functions. So Doctor, as it relates to this initiative, Right From the Start NJ, what does that mean in terms of what we, as a society needs to be... need to be doing more of? And what as parents of... parents watching right now, by the way, those who... prenatal care matters as well, as you can see from that graphic? What do we need to do as a society? And then individually? Well I think, as a society, we need to prioritize the importance of this period of time. And that means to recognize if children are having developmental delays. They get the interventions that they need. How would we know? Well part of it has to do with developmental screening and assessments that take place. In general, the pediatricians who do developmental assessments are, I'll say, are supposed to be doing them, are doing the normal visits. And for a newborn, they'd see the baby at a week, two months of age, four months of age, six months of age, nine months a year. And then at 18 months, and at two years. And so those visits are front-loaded. And that means that the pediatrician will ask the parent, because most of the answers that relate to this developmental..."