Nature, Nurture and Brain Development: Why Choosing a Nanny is So Important

Depending on your specific situation, your nanny or other caregiver may be one of the important adults that your child spends meaningful time with during their waking hours. This is when the “nurture” side of the development coin comes into play. A nanny who is attentive to your child is vital of course, but hiring a person who is also attuned to your child’s developmental needs and idiosyncrasies will help “nurture” what “nature” has given.

The Zero to Three National Center gives this example: Everyone is born with the potential to learn language. The “nature” side means that the brain is programmed to recognize speech, to pick up subtle differences between sounds, and the like. But it’s the social environment, or “nurture,” that the child is raised in that determines which language will be learned, the size of the child’s vocabulary and the dialect and accent the child will adopt.

Your child’s brain is ultra-malleable, and constantly in relation with the world around them. It’s up to you to ensure that the caregiver you introduce into your child’s early life is able to provide an nurturing and attentive experience to enhance what they’ve already been given by nature.

To read more about how nannies and parents can work together to enhance brain development in young children, click here.

Photo Credit: Travis Swan/flickr