InBrief Series

The InBrief series provides brief summaries of scientific research on the science of early childhood development and its implications for policy and programs. Each edition of the series is available in video and PDF format.

The Science of ECD InBrief

InBrief: The Science of Early Childhood Development

The science of early brain development can inform investments in early childhood. These basic concepts, established over decades of neuroscience and behavioral research, help illustrate why child development—particularly from birth to five years—is a foundation for a prosperous and sustainable society.

Learn more

Impact of Early Adversity InBrief

InBrief: The Impact of Early Adversity on Children’s Development

In early childhood, research on the biology of stress shows how major adversity, such as extreme poverty, abuse, or neglect can weaken developing brain architecture and permanently set the body’s stress response system on high alert. Science also shows that providing stable, responsive, nurturing relationships in the earliest years of life can prevent or even reverse the damaging effects of early life stress, with lifelong benefits for learning, behavior, and health.

Learn more

Early Childhood Program Effectiveness InBrief

InBrief: Early Childhood Program Effectiveness

By creating and implementing effective early childhood programs and policies, society can ensure that children have a solid foundation for a productive future. Four decades of evaluation research have identified programs that can improve a wide range of outcomes with continued impact into the adult years.

Learn more

Foundations of Lifelong Health InBrief

InBrief: The Foundations of Lifelong Health

A vital and productive society with a prosperous and sustainable future is built on a foundation of healthy child development. Positive early experiences provide a foundation for sturdy brain architecture and a broad range of skills and learning capacities. Health in the earliest years—beginning with the future mother’s well-being before she becomes pregnant—strengthens developing biological systems that enable children to thrive and grow up to be healthy adults.

Learn more

Executive Function InBrief

InBrief: Executive Function

Research on the developing brain shows us that early childhood experiences build the foundation for a skilled workforce, a responsible community, and a thriving economy. A new evidence base has identified a set of skills that are essential for school achievement, for the preparation and adaptability of our future workforce, and for avoiding a wide range of population health problems.

Learn more

Early Childhood Mental Health InBrief

InBrief: Early Childhood Mental Health

The science of child development shows that the foundation for sound mental health is built early in life, as early experiences—which include children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—shape the architecture of the developing brain. Disruptions in this developmental process can impair a child’s capacities for learning and relating to others, with lifelong implications.

Learn more

The Science of Neglect InBrief

InBrief: The Science of Neglect

Thriving communities depend on the successful development of the people who live in them, and building the foundations of successful development in childhood requires responsive relationships and supportive environments. Neglect, or the absence of responsive, supportive care, can affect the formation of the developing brain, impairing later learning, behavior, and health.

Learn more

The Science of Resilience InBrief

InBrief: The Science of Resilience

Reducing the effects of significant adversity on young children’s healthy development is critical to the progress and prosperity of any society. Yet not all children experience lasting harm as a result of adverse early experiences. Some may demonstrate “resilience,” or an adaptive response to serious hardship. A better understanding of why some children do well despite early adversity is important because it can help us design policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential.

Learn more

  Print this page   Subscribe to our mailing list