The health and well-being of children is integral to learning and development but what does it actually mean in practice? This textbook draws on contemporary research on the brain and mind to provide an up-to-date overview of the central aspects of young children’s health and well-being - a key component of the revised EYFS curriculum. Critically engaging with a range of current debates, coverage includes • early influences, such as relationships, attachment (attachment theory) and nutrition • the role of the brain in health and well-being • the enabling environment • other issues affecting child development To support students with further reading, reflective and critical thinking it employs: • case studies • pointers for practice • mindful moments • discussion questions • references to extra readings • web links This current, critical and comprehensive course text will provide a solid foundation for students and practitioners on a wide range of early childhood courses, and empower them to support and nurture young children’s health and well-being.

Brain processes in health and well-being

Brain processes in health and well-being

Chapter Overview

In this chapter we will explore how the brain functions and the physiological processes that contribute to a child’s health and well-being. First, we will develop an understanding of the brain’s neuronal networks or connectome, its ability to develop competency and capacity, and how behaviours become automated. Secondly, we will explore plasticity and how the brain interacts and responds to changing environments. Thirdly, we will discuss how the neuronal networks are constantly under review and are pruned and tuned by experience, environment and genetic programming. As we will discover, this does not always result in improving health and well-being! Finally, we will examine how specialised neurons, mirror neurons, thought to be involved ...

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