31 Clearinghouse Rev. [i] (1997-1998)

handle is hein.journals/clear31 and id is 1 raw text is: Just fifteen years ago scientists believed that at birth the
structure of babies' brains had been genetically determined.
This assumption left its mark on the discussion of the old
nature versus nurture questions about the development of a
young child. Recently, however, researchers have been learn-
ing how, rather than something innate, experiences after birth,
particularly during the first three years of life, determine the
actual wiring of the human brain. Newsweek reports how new
technology, such as positron emission tomography imaging,
can measure activity of the brain's different regions and yields
hard data on the critical nature of the experiences of the first
three years of life. Simple activities, such as cuddling and rock-
ing a baby, stimulate growth, and the long-term effects of inad-
equate nurturing can be devastating. For example, in pro-
foundly deprived children, such as orphans in an institutional
nursery, critical areas of the brain actually remain undeveloped,
and such children suffer emotional and cognitive problems.
This new scientific evidence of the lasting effects of a
child's early childhood experiences magnifies the significance
of access to quality child care for welfare recipients and the
working poor. Nearly a quarter of families with children under
three live in poverty, and welfare changes will push more par-
ents of young children into the work force. Those children are
most at risk because without some sort of financial assistance
their parents can afford only very poor-quality and/or unreli-
able child care or even no care at all. In the lead article of this
issue of CLEARINGHOUSE REVIEW Daniel Lesser discusses the
opportunity states now have to create a unified subsidized
child care system that serves welfare recipients and the work-
ing poor. The author highlights how, through the use of a
model child care family copayment sliding fee scale, all needy
families, whether welfare recipients or working, would have
the opportunity to access subsidized quality child care.
ILZE SPRUDZS HIRSH
Managing Editor
Photographs that appear in CtAiGHOUSE Review are produced independently of articles and columns and bear no rela-
tionship to cases or inodents discussed herein.
COVER PHOTO BY MARTHA TABOR
DESIGN BY HENDRICKSON CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS

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VOLUME 31 NUMBERS 1-2
MAY-JUNE 1997
NATIONAL CLEARINGHOUSE   N   C  L   S
FOR LEGAL SERVICES

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