Early Literacy - What is it and why is it important? Early Literacy is the foundation of a child's development. The important time period in the life of a child, as it relates to brain development, is from the ages of birth to five (5) years old. Early Literacy is everyday experiences with children that include reading, play, writing, communication, music, movement, social interaction, nurturing, etc. It is vital that Early Childhood professionals understand their role in the life of a child. They need to understand that they are educators who need to engage all children in their care with early literacy (learning) activities and opportunities. Children need to also be surrounded with a print friendly environment. Play environments should be set up that encourage literacy in each center. Children learn through experiences and repetition. In order for healthy brain development, children need: A daily schedule Consistency and fairness Daily reading time Play time Music and movement Exploration Communication opportunities If these opportunities are not available, the neurons in a child's brain will never connect and the cells in the brain will die. It is important for you to understand your role in helping children develop. The foundation of a child's life is vital to the future of that child. Early Literacy is critical, and as early childhood professionals we must do our best to provide our children with the best opportunities that engage their minds. Find more Early Literacy Resources.