The scientific evidence is clear and growing: structural, cultural, and interpersonal racism impose unique and substantial stressors on the daily lives of families raising young children of color. Understanding how these stressors affect child health and development provides a compelling framework for new ideas about how communities, policies, programs, and funding streams might confront and dismantle these inequities and build a stronger future for us all.
This new brief discusses how racism creates conditions that harm the well-being of children and families, and the need to go “upstream” and create policy solutions to address the source of structural, cultural, and interpersonal racism.
Did you know that interactions among genes, experiences, age, and environments influence every biological system in the body, with especially powerful effects in the earliest years? Learn five quick facts about health that are frequently misunderstood.
Why are some people motivated to participate productively in their community and more likely to persevere in the face of setbacks? To unlock this puzzle, it is helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms in the brain that develop in childhood and build the foundation for later complex behavior.
We know that adult-child relationships, other early experiences, and environmental exposures influence child well-being. An increasing number of policies and programs around the world now reflect that understanding by supporting children’s early learning and nutrition to improve their readiness to succeed in school. As scientific knowledge continues to grow, we also know more clearly than […]
A growing understanding of how responsive relationships and language-rich experiences for young children help build a strong foundation for later success in school has driven increased investment and sparked innovation in early learning around the world. The rapidly advancing frontiers of 21st-century biological sciences now provide compelling evidence that the foundations of lifelong health are […]
What can we do to build up and strengthen resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak? How can we build resilience to plan ahead for future times of crisis? This resource, with practical tips and suggestions, presents three science-based ways that we can help tip the resilience scale for families and program staff.
Even during this uncertain time, it’s a sure thing that our children are still learning, growing, and developing. But, supporting a child’s healthy development can be simple and free! (And, it may even help relieve your stress.) Here are four steps to focus on right now.
The healthy development of all children is essential for a thriving and prosperous community, and we now know a great deal about how child development works, as well as how to prevent and address problems. So, how can we use insights from cutting-edge science to improve the well-being and long-term life prospects of the most […]
The brain circuits underlying motivation are critical for attention, learning, and decision-making. When these circuits have either not developed in a balanced and healthy way or have been chemically hijacked by addictions, challenging life circumstances can overpower the best of intentions. Programs intended to support parents and children facing adversity often find that participation is […]
The intrinsic motivation to learn about the world around us begins in infancy. This type of motivation can either be encouraged or suppressed by the experiences adults provide for children. Psychological research points to a set of promising approaches that parents and practitioners can use to promote positive motivation and learning during development.
What is motivation, and how does it work? Learn five quick facts about motivation that are frequently misconstrued or misunderstood.
Serve and return interactions make everyday moments fun and become second nature with practice. By taking small moments during the day to do serve and return, you build up the foundation for children’s lifelong learning, behavior, and health—and their skills for facing life’s challenges.
This brief explains why 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.
This brief explains how 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.
This brief explains how 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.