Blog | March 3, 2021

Brain Science Expert Presents to Maine’s Legislative Children’s Caucus

On February 12th, brain science expert Dr. Sarah Lytle presented virtually to members of Maine’s Legislative Children’s Caucus on the latest research in brain science and early childhood development.

Dr. Lytle is the Director of the Outreach and Education division at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington. And she led Friday’s conversation as a member of the ReadyNation’s Brain Science Speakers Bureau, an initiative which gives early childhood brain science experts the opportunity to relay their deep knowledge to policymakers, the media, and the public. As Dr. Lytle said in her presentation, “Research is only as good as it has applicability to those working with children and families. All of this is with the end goal of creating a world in which children thrive.”

Dr. Lytle presented on the science of brain development in infants and toddlers

Dr. Lytle presented on the science of brain development in infants and toddlers

In Dr. Lytle’s presentation, she discussed the science of neural connection-building in children’s earliest years, the environments and activities that help kids thrive, and the stress and trauma that create barriers to their healthy development. She concluded by talking about the policies and public services that support both children and parents, and thereby reinforce healthy child development. Dr. Lytle remarked to the caucus’s policymakers, “Any policy you’re thinking about has implications for children and families, and paying attention to that aspect of it will really allow us to craft policies that work for them.”

Dr. Lytle presented on the science of brain development in infants and toddlers

Dr. Lytle presented on the services and policies that benefit families with young children

Senator Rick Bennett and Representative Rebecca Millett serve as co-chairs of the bipartisan, bicameral Children’s Caucus, a caucus made up of state lawmakers who advocate for early educational investments. After the presentation,Rep. Millett reflected that an abundance of new early childhood research and the impact of COVID-19 on the child care system have made clear the need for more child care slots and greater participation in the quality rating system, “to make sure that these kiddos are actually getting those environments that Dr. Lytle has said are so necessary for their development.” Rep. Millett continued, “The good news is that with the great work of folks like Dr. Lytle and ReadyNation and many others, the word is out on the incredible importance of early childhood development.”


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