Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Cecelia Westby

Second Reader

Sue Starks


early childhood education, brain development, childcare, adult child attachement


The intent of this project is to use recent brain development research to support the concept that children who receive sensitive, responsive care from their parents and other caregivers in the first years of life enjoy an important head start toward success in their lives. Through the reporting of data this project will also demonstrate how secure attachments and sensitive relationships with the important adults in their lives lay the foundation for healthy emotional development, and help protect them from the many stresses they may face as they grow. The intent is to create a program kit that will be made available to advocates for sharing information with parents, families, care providers, educators, administrators, legislators and others involved in the lives of young children.

The information presented in this kit will be used in Cherokee, Swain, and Graham Counties of North Carolina with public school educators, civic groups, parent workshops, and as a component of Early Childhood Educations classes at Tri County Community College campuses. In addition, it will be made available to both the Sociology and Physiology departments for use with students focused on child development and family studies. The data will be shared with early childhood professionals, parents and families at professional workshops, training sessions, and in parent newsletters and local newspaper editorials.

Quality childcare needs ample funding sources to maintain proper ratios and to properly compensate well- educated and skilled teaching personnel. It is my belief that this information is an essential tool for supporting the need for quality childcare that ensures that every child will have a good foundation for a successful life. My reading of current research has emphasized the need for such a tool, and the need to share such information with the significant adults who shape the lives of children.


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