The first five years are the building blocks to all that follows. The six sections in this publication, marked by tabs, focus on separate topic areas. Each section begins with a one page overview, followed by multiple pages with more detailed descriptions and authoritative source material. Together, they form the building blocks of knowledge, best practices, and public policy in the early childhood field. The topics we cover are:

• The science of brain growth and early childhood development. 

• The social and economic benefits of investing in young children.

• Data about Maryland’s child population.

• A survey of child care and other early education programs.

• Issues of equity in early education.

• Changes on the horizon for early childhood education policy in Maryland.

Whether you’re a parent, a policymaker, a member of the media, or a concerned citizen, we hope you’ll find the information here helpful.