The Growing Brain: From Birth to 5 Year Old a Zero to Three Curriculum

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The greatest rate of brain growth takes place during the first few years, and this rapid development occurs at the same time a child is making critical connections with the outside world. The Growing Brain is an innovative course that explains  how the brain develops step-by-step, neuron-by-neuron. The series of 7 in-person modules provides explanation of brain processes and the effects of outside influences, along with ways that healthy brain development can be encouraged in children from birth to 5 years 

Target Audience

Early childhood professionals, EI providers, Pediatricians or someone whose work impacts a young child. 

Course Format

The course will have 7 distinct sections. Each section will build off the last but attendance of the previous course is not mandatory for future courses.


Unit 1 – The Basics

Goal: To understand how the brain grows and develops from conception through 5 years


  1. Learn the parts of the brain and their functions
  2. Understand how nerve cells communicate and connect
  3. Understand neuro-plasticity and the role of early experiences in making connections between areas of the brain

Unit 2 – The Factors Affecting Brain Growth and Development

Goal: To understand key factors that affect brain development and how to support healthy overall brain development


  1. Identify factors that affect brain growth and development
  2. Understand the effects of stress on brain development
  3. Learn about the 5 R’s for supporting healthy brain development

Unit 3 – Communication and Language Development

Goal: To understand how communication and language skills develop in the first 5 years, the brain’s role in the development of these skills, and how to support them


  1. Understand communication milestones from birth to 12 months
  2. Understand communication milestones from 12-36 months
  3. Understand communication milestones from 3-5 years
  4. Learn strategies for supporting early communication skills
  5. Understand multi language learning

Unit 4 – Cognition and Executive Function

Goal: To understand who young children develop cognitive and executive functions in relation to the developing brain


  1. Learn how cognitive development unfolds.
  2. Learn ways to support cognitive development in young children
  3. Learn about executive functioning and tis critical role in cognitive and overall development
  4. Learn ways to support the development of executive functions

Unit 5 – Social-Emotional Development

Goal: To understand how social-emotional development unfolds in the first 5 years and the brain’s role in this process


  1. Understand how social-emotional development unfolds in the first 5 years and how to support it in young children
  2. Identify areas of the brain involved in social interactions and emotional reactions
  3. Understand the role of relationships and attachment in social-emotional development
  4. Understand the effect of stress on social-emotional development
  5. Understand the development of empathy

Unit 6 – Understanding Behavior

Goal: To understand how children’s behavior is influenced by the brain


  1. Understand basic anatomy
  2. Understand the connection between the various areas of the brain and how these connections are expressed through behavior
  3. Understand the key factors that influence behavior
  4. Understand the root causes of challenging behavior and effective strategies for healing children with these difficulties

Unit 7 – Everyday Plan

Goal: To understand the stages and types of play that unfold in early childhood, the role of the brain in this process, and how to maximize children’s learning through play


  1. Learn about the development of play
  2. Learn about the differences between free and guided play
  3. Learn about the core skills children develop through play and ow to promote these skills.

Upcoming courses