UNK conferences takes closer look at early childhood development

KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - UNK took a deeper look into child development at their annual Early Childhood Conference.

Many of the speakers and work sessions revolved around methods to connect with children when they are young to better set them up for successful futures.

A lot of research is done at UNK in regards to early childhood development. The theme of this year's conference is "promoting well-being for children and families."

Some of the speakers discussed how technology affects social skills, how parent reactions resonate with kids, and how the way they are treated will carry on into adulthood.

“The child's brain is developing and it is acquiring a language, it's acquiring rituals and routines and sometimes we just think 'oh they're kids, or they'll forget, or they're not aware' and that's not true,” Education Consultant Jo Mascorro said.

Organizers say giving children social and emotional skills at a young age will help them have positive relationships as adults.

“It's the foundation. If we want children to be successful in school later on we have to start immediately, we have to start as soon as possible to work with the children and families and promote school readiness through the basic foundation of brain development, environmental supports, and really high quality teaching environments and teachers,” UNK Assistant Professor Paula Thompson said.

Currently at UNK, an early childhood development center is being built and professors say it will only further their research into childhood behaviors.