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Growing Up in a Warming World: How climate change is affecting the availability and safety of water in the developmental environment

Read our brief, Growing Up in a Warming World: How climate change is affecting the availability and safety of water in the developmental environment, to learn more about the direct and indirect effects of climate change and how we can protect children and address the root causes of these effects.

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Extreme Heat Affects Early Childhood Development & Health

Extreme Heat Affects Early Childhood Development & Health

Personal experience, common sense, and scientific evidence all confirm that temperatures are rising across the United States and globally, with record-setting heat waves occurring more frequently and lasting longer than before. Increasing temperatures and heat waves impact every cell and organ system in the human body.

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Working Paper 17 InBrief

InBrief: A World of Differences: The Science of Human Variation

It is now widely accepted that investing in early childhood development helps build the foundations of a healthy, productive, and equitable society. Guided by that knowledge, a range of broad-based programs and targeted services make a significant difference for millions of young children, yet a closer look shows that some children benefit greatly, some benefit less, and some not at all. Within this variation lies opportunity. Increasing effects for all children— especially those who benefit the least—may be the key that unlocks greater impacts for society.

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Moving Upstream: Confronting Racism to Open Up Children’s Potential

The scientific evidence is clear and growing: racism imposes unique and substantial stressors on the daily lives of families raising young children of color.

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5 Facts About Health That Are Often Misunderstood

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.

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InBrief: Understanding the Science of Motivation

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.

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Cover page of Health and Learning Are Deeply Interconnected Mini-Brief

Health and Learning Are Deeply Interconnected in the Body: An Action Guide for Policymakers

Three key messages from the science of early childhood development, adversity, and resilience can help guide our thinking in a time when innovation has never been more needed in public systems to improve both health and learning.

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InBrief: Connecting the Brain to the Rest of the Body

The environments we create and the experiences we provide for young children and their families affect not just the developing brain, but also many other physiological systems, including cardiovascular function, immune responsiveness, and metabolic regulation.

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Mother holding baby, holding him outside

How to Help Families and Staff Build Resilience During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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.

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Two boys look out a window (Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash)

How to Support Children (and Yourself) During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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.

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Child Welfare Brief thumbnail

InBrief: Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems

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 […]

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Legislative building

Motivation and Early Childhood Policy: Science-Based Approaches for Policymakers and Public Systems

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 […]

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Toddlers watching a teacher

How to Motivate Children: Science-Based Approaches for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers

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.

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5 facts about motivation: fact 1

5 Facts About Motivation That Are Often Misunderstood

What is motivation, and how does it work? Learn five quick facts about motivation that are frequently misconstrued or misunderstood.

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Daycare teacher works with baby who's playing.

5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return

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.

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children with caregiver/teacher

8 Things to Remember about Child Development

In this important list, featured in the From Best Practices to Breakthrough Impacts report, the Center on the Developing Child sets the record straight about some aspects of early child development.

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The Science of Resilience InBrief

InBrief: The Science of Resilience

This brief summarizes the science of resilience and explains why understanding it will help us design policies and programs that enable more children to reach their full potential.

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Early Childhood Mental Health InBrief

InBrief: Early Childhood Mental Health

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.

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The Science of Neglect InBrief

InBrief: The Science of Neglect

This brief explains why neglect, or the absence of responsive, supportive care, can affect the formation of the developing brain, impairing later learning, behavior, and health.

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Executive Function InBrief

InBrief: Executive Function

This brief describes why executive function skills are essential for school achievement, success in work, and healthy lives.

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Foundations of Lifelong Health InBrief

InBrief: The Foundations of Lifelong Health

This brief explains why a vital and productive society with a prosperous and sustainable future is built on a foundation of healthy child development.

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Early Childhood Program Effectiveness InBrief

InBrief: Early Childhood Program Effectiveness

This brief discusses how society can ensure that children have a solid foundation for a productive future by creating and implementing effective early childhood programs and policies.

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InBrief: The impact of early adversity on children's development cover thumbnail

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

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.

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InBrief: The science of early childhood development cover thumbnail

InBrief: The Science of Early Childhood Development

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.

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