Center Happenings

Curious about what’s happening at the Center on the Developing Child? Read on, below, for updates on everything from new products, to events, to staff spotlights.

A Healthy Childhood in a Changing Climate | Askwith Education Forum

A Healthy Childhood in a Changing Climate | Askwith Education Forum

February 01, 2024

The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Askwith Education Forum recently brought together early childhood & health experts – including the Center’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Lindsey Burghardt, and education & public health advocate, Chelsea Clinton – for a conversation on the impacts of environmental change on early childhood development. Learn more about actions to respond to, mitigate & lessen the effects of climate change and help ensure all children can get a healthy start.

Photo: Jill Anderson, courtesy of HGSE.
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The Center Welcomes a New Council

September 1, 2023

The Center has launched a new council: the Early Childhood Scientific Council on Equity and the Environment (ECSCEE). This group of researchers from diverse academic backgrounds will focus specifically on exploring connections between systemic factors and the inequities of place and health that are experienced by many children today. With this deeper understanding, the ECSCEE’s goal is to bolster solutions to work toward achieving fairness of place for all children.

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Chief Science Officer Dr. Lindsey Burghardt Joins WBUR to Discuss “Place Matters”

girl on swings

July 27, 2023

The Center’s Chief Science Officer, Lindsey Burghardt, MD, MPH, FAAP, sat down with WBUR’s Here & Now program to talk about how the environments where children live impact their developing biological systems and lifelong health. Dr. Burghardt discusses how policy makers can support healthy development by improving the environmental conditions around families raising young children – including by adding green space.

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Faculty Director Dr. Jack Shonkoff Discusses How a Baby’s Earliest Moments Affect Their Lifelong Health on WBUR

baby crawling

May 23, 2023

The Center’s Faculty Director, Jack Shonkoff, MD talked with WBUR about how a child’s earliest experiences shape their life-long health, and the environments where children live, grow, learn, and play can influence those experiences in both positive and negative ways. To learn more about the importance of early experiences and creating healthy environments for young children, check out the episode!

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Affiliated Faculty member Dr. Natalie Slopen Featured on Pediatrics On Call

April 3, 2023

On the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Pediatrics On Call podcast, Center-affiliated faculty member and member of the Center’s newly formed Early Childhood Scientific Council on Equity and the Environment, Natalie Slopen, ScD, emphasized the urgent need for place-based initiatives and intergenerational approaches for improving health equity among children and their caregivers.

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Exploring the Impact of Climate Change on Early Childhood Development

Dec 16, 2022

This past Monday, Corey Zimmerman, Chief Program Officer at the Center, spoke at a listening session hosted by the Early Years Climate Action Task Force: “How Will Climate Change Impact Early Care and Education Systems?” As one of four panelists, Corey shared insights from the latest science around early childhood, which can help us understand how the effects of climate change represent a growing source of adversity for young children’s development, as well as how we can leverage that science to inform the design of early childhood systems taking climate resilience into account.

The Task Force, launched by Capita and the Aspen Institute in June 2022, is co-chaired by Diana Rauner, former First Lady of Illinois and President of Start Early, and Antwanye Ford, President and CEO, Enlightened, Inc. and Chair, District of Columbia Workforce Investment Council. The Task Force will draft the first Early Years Climate Action Plan for the U.S., including recommendations and best practices on how a range of stakeholders can mitigate, adapt, and respond to climate change as it relates to young children. This work connects to the Center’s increasing focus on the broader environment in which children are developing, which we will be sharing more about in the New Year!

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The Princess of Wales visits the Center

Dec 7, 2022

Center faculty and staff were honored to welcome Catherine, the Princess of Wales, on Friday, December 2, for a discussion on the latest research on early childhood development and how science can inform the policy landscape and increase the impact of programs. Click on “Read More” below for more details about the conversation with Her Royal Highness.

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Staff Spotlight: Welcome, Nirka!

Dec 5, 2022

As our new Senior Project Manager of Administration and Culture, Nirka Rosa will be working in collaboration with the Director of EDIB Strategy and the Senior Project Manager of EDIB to foster a culture that is values-driven and focused on excellence. She comes to us with over 20 years of Human Resources, Operations, and project management experience. We are so thrilled to welcome Nirka to the team!

Learn more about Nirka

Policymaker Perspectives: A Q&A with Bill de Blasio

Nov 15, 2022

As part of an upcoming series from the Center that will feature perspectives on early childhood policy from a range of contributors, we sat down with Bill de Blasio, who served as mayor of New York City, to discuss his work in early childhood education, current challenges and opportunities in the field, as well as how policies across a variety of domains—from green space to housing security—can be implemented to have a positive impact on children and families. Read the full Q&A via the link below, and stay tuned for future Q&As with policymakers!

Read the full Q&A

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