Culture can also impact language development in young children. Multiple studies have shown that young children develop language through exposure. Language exposure has been linked to both culture and socioeconomic status. The sequence of language development is the same in all languages; however, the further development of language can depend upon access to various resources, including conversation, books and other learning materials. Access to language impacts children’s vocabulary growth, vocabulary use, and IQ scores at age three.
The cultural values of the dominant culture impact the development and priorities of public policy, including government funding for various issues that impact children and often, research into child development. Many different types of public policy impact children’s health, well-being and development, including funding for anti-poverty programs, access to early childhood education, and even health care policy. Voters are predominantly older, white and economically successful, leading to reduced access to these aid and support for childhood programs.
Programs that provide access to job training and higher education, improve access to food and safe housing, and that enable regular access to healthcare can all have a beneficial impact on child development. As noted, children in more financially stable homes show improved intellectual and emotional development. Programs that increase financial stability for families with children can benefit the overall development of those children. Cuts to these programs can damage families and the development of children. For instance, cuts to welfare programs and work requirements may limit access to food and resources and increase familial stresses.
Other examples of programs like these include the school breakfast and lunch programs. Providing free or reduced cost meals to children at school provides them with access to adequate and healthy food and is another example of social welfare programs designed to address the needs of children
Government policy also impacts the availability of early childhood education. Childhood advocates typically recommend broad access to early childhood education for children of all social classes. For children of a higher socioeconomic status, these programs have relatively little impact. These children have access to early childhood education resources, regardless of public policy. For children of lower socioeconomic status, public funding for early childhood education can have a dramatic impact on their later educational success. Federal funding for early childhood education pays for child care assistance, Early Head Start and Head Start preschool programs for children of lower income families, and improvements in elementary and secondary education.
· PUBLIC POLICIES ADDRESS SOCIAL PROBLEMS
· FINANCIAL HELP
· CIVIL RIGHTS OF CHILDREN
When public policy values child development and the well-being of children, some of the differences associated with both genetics and environmental factors can be alleviated. Good quality childcare and early childhood education can provide children from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds with improved access to a wide variety of learning resources.
Anti-poverty programs of various sorts can reduce financial stresses for families, and help to improve the family and child’s socioeconomic status. Various organizations continue to work for the well-being of children, including the Children’s Defense Fund. This non-profit organization works for the good of children by funding research, community activity, and legislative activity
The International Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international agreement supporting basic rights of all children. These include the right to freedom of thought and religion, access to free and appropriate education, a loving family life, and access to good health and an adequate standard of living. The United States is one of only two developed countries which have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in part because of the belief in individualism and rejection of legal controls on parenting.