Guides

Guide: Extreme Heat Affects Early Childhood Development and Health

Personal experience, common sense, and science confirm that temperatures are rising globally. Heat waves are occurring with greater frequency and lasting longer than ever before. According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2023 is believed to have been the hottest year on record. Humans have successfully adapted to a wide range of climates, but there are […]


A Guide to Place Matters

A Guide to Place Matters A wide range of conditions in the places where children live, grow, play, and learn can get “under the skin” and affect their developing brains and other biological systems. Rapidly advancing science around early childhood development provides increasingly clear evidence that, beginning before birth, these environmental conditions shape how children […]


Introducing ECD 2.0

A New Framework for Science-Informed Investment in the Early Foundations of Health and Development Over the past two decades, the “brain science story” has made a powerful case for investing in the early childhood period. Now, a devastating pandemic has exacerbated longstanding inequalities and disrupted vital services, while a groundswell of social activism has brought […]


A Guide to COVID-19 and Early Childhood Development

The global response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has changed daily life in many ways for many people. Yet child development has not paused, and supporting children, families, and care providers of all kinds is as important as ever. In this guide, the Center on the Developing Child has gathered a number of resources and […]


A Guide to Serve and Return: How Your Interaction with Children Can Build Brains

You may have heard the phrase “serve and return” in the context of child development, but what does it actually mean? At its core, serve and return is about responsive interactions between children and the people who care for them, and how those interactions help children grow and reach their full potential. In this guide, […]


What Is Early Childhood Development? A Guide to the Science (ECD 1.0)

Healthy development in the early years (particularly birth to three) provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, lifelong health, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation. What can we do during this incredibly important period to ensure that children have a strong foundation for future development? The Center on […]


A Guide to Executive Function

Executive function and self-regulation skills are like an air traffic control system in the brain—they help us manage information, make decisions, and plan ahead. We need these skills at every stage of life, and while no one is born with them, we are all born with the potential to develop them. But, how do we […]


A Guide to Toxic Stress

Chances are, you’ve heard or read something about toxic stress—maybe from the media, from a physician or other medical professional, or from a family member, friend, or neighbor. You may feel overwhelmed by all of the toxic stress information out there. And, unfortunately, it’s very easy to find misleading or incorrect information. The Center on […]


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