User Reviews (6)

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  • As a child psychologist and professor, I was deeply impressed by this comprehensive and thoughtful documentary underscoring the importance of early childhood for later health and well-being. The producers cover all of the bases, with interviews of experts, families of young children, teachers, and scientists who reflect on the brain's development during this age period. The film illustrates how the income gap impacts children from the very beginning of life, and they feature dedicated teachers who are underpaid and under appreciated for their talent and contributions to growing the next generation. Still, the film offers concrete actions that individuals and communities can take to address the challenges leaving the viewer moved to act individually and convinced of the need for policy change to support early education.
  • A truly powerful and eye-opening film. No Small Matter shines an important light on the foundation of our national educational structure and invites viewers to reconsider what true support for children, families, and educators can look like. As an educator who has worked in public education for almost 15 years, I can say that if you care about what our children's futures can look like and want to learn more about the fabric and importance of early childhood education, watch No Small Matter.
  • What happens to us and how we learn from our earliest days is so important! This film gives us an opportunity to ponder how we can make the world better by paying close attention to our earliest moments in it and how we learn to be part of it. Great work!
  • This is one of the most moving films I've seen. It shows the importance of early childhood education from all different angles. Whether you are a teacher, parent, legislator, or were a kid at some point in your life, this movie is a must-watch. Education is the key to changing the world and tackling systems of injustice. When you think about how much we learn in our first few years of life, it makes sense to start at the very beginning to make sure kids have a strong foundation. So why is early childhood education so overlooked and undervalued?
  • Even though No Small Matter was made before the pandemic, it is an incredibly timely film. It makes clear how important early childhood education and early childhood educators are to our country's present and future. And it does so in an engaging, entertaining, compelling manner. A must see for anyone concerned with children, families and the economy. Ben Mardell
  • Greetings again from the darkness. Perpetuating the species is one goal, but improving the species ... specifically, improving the possibilities for each child ... is truly a worthwhile pursuit. The research is presented, and the film is co-directed by Danny Alpert, Greg Jacobs, and Jon Siskel (Gene's son). We are told "Beginnings matter", and then we are shown why and how.

    Birth to age 5 is critical for what is called "the Learning Brain." Unfortunately, in today's society, fewer parents are spending a significant amount of time with their youngsters. We are told that in the U.S., 11 million kids under age 5 are spending greater than 50% of waking hours with someone other than their own parents. Daycares and pre-schools have become the most important link in the early brain development of these young kids. And because of that, the high income versus low income gap is creating vastly different results for the age group. Higher income tends to offer better options for early development, and statistics show these kids hear and learn more words, and visit more libraries and museums. We are informed that in 28 states, daycare costs are now greater than public college tuition.

    Research and input is offered by Professors, researchers and children educators. We follow one particularly enthusiastic pre-school teacher who is clearly very talented, but due to low salary (she has a second job bartending), she decides to head back to graduate school. It turns out the challenges at this younger level are the same faced throughout the education system. Teachers are underpaid and overworked, and it's the students who suffer. However, unlike older ages, this younger age group isn't yet capable of taking on more learning opportunities on their own. They require assistance.

    The Abecedarian Project in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and the Avance group in Waco, Texas are highlighted as organizations working to provide assistance to those at risk of not being able to provide adequate early childhood learning opportunities. We also see the military's approach of "Investing in Quality" so that the kids of military families have stimulating learning programs. Educators stress the importance of 'executive function' - the learned skill of kids being able to pay attention and cooperate in a classroom environment. It's not all about reading and writing. The need goes deeper. The film does a nice job of presenting information most of us are aware of, in a way that makes the solutions clear and importance known. The idea of referring to this as 'brain building' rather than 'babysitting' makes a lot of sense. Not investing in our kids from day one means we are choosing perpetuation over than improvement.