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The Brain Architects: Connecting Health & Learning Part II: The Implications

How do we use the science of early childhood development to implement practical strategies and overcome longstanding barriers in the early childhood field? How can we ensure that families’ voices are heard when we create policies or programs? To kick off this episode, Center Director Dr. Jack Shonkoff describes what the science means for policymakers, […]

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The Brain Architects: Connecting Health & Learning Part I: The Science

How do our biological systems work together to respond to chronic stress? What do these responses mean for early learning and lifelong health? And when we say that early experiences matter, what do we mean by early? This episode of The Brain Architects podcast addresses all these questions and more! To kick off this episode, […]

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Woman having a telemedicine call with a therapist

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: Mental Health in a Locked-Down World

This episode of The Brain Architects addresses mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including what supporting your own mental health can look like, as well as ways to support children you care for at this time.

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Person sitting with arms crossed and head down leaning up against a wall

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: Domestic Violence and Shelter-In-Place

Shelter-in-place orders are meant to help protect our communities from the current coronavirus pandemic. But for some people, home isn’t always a safe place. Dr. Tien Ung discusses what options are available to help people stay both physically healthy and safe from violence.

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Aerial view of a neighborhood with houses, trees, parks, and streets (Photo by Brandon Jacoby on Unsplash)

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: Creating Communities of Opportunity

While the current coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us, it isn’t affecting all of us equally. In this episode, Dr. David Williams discusses ways in which the coronavirus pandemic is particularly affecting people of color in the U.S., and what that can mean for early childhood development.

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Young girl wearing face mask receives a vaccination

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

In the second episode, Dr. Rahil Briggs, National Director of ZERO TO THREE’s HealthySteps program, discusses the current state of pediatrics, and why caregiver health is child health.

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Man sitting in a chair reading to a baby sitting on his lap. (Photo by nappy from Pexels)

The Brain Architects Podcast: COVID-19 Special Edition: A Different World

While the coronavirus pandemic has changed many things around the world, it has not stopped child development.

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Animated people standing outside (a still from the Science by Design video)

Science X Design: Three Principles to Improve Outcomes for Children

Moving forward as a society depends on children developing to their full potential, and the science of early childhood development can help us figure out the best ways to make this happen. In this video, learn about three principles we’ve identified that community leaders, policymakers, and practitioners can use as a guiding star for designing […]

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Gray concrete pillars supporting a structure (Photo by Mirko Blicke on Unsplash)

The Brain Architects Podcast: Serve and Return: Supporting the Foundation

What is “serve and return”? What does it mean to have a “responsive relationship” with a child? How do responsive relationships support healthy brain development? And what can parents and caregivers do in their day-to-day lives to build these sorts of relationships? This episode of The Brain Architects podcast addresses all these questions and more! […]

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Aerial view of construction workers walking on rebar and building a foundation (Photo by Saad Salim on Unsplash)

The Brain Architects Podcast: Toxic Stress: Protecting the Foundation

What is toxic stress? What effects can it have on a child’s body and development, and how can those effects be prevented? What does it mean to build resilience? This episode of The Brain Architects explores what “toxic stress” means, and what we can do about it. Host Sally Pfitzer is once again joined by […]

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Pencil on blueprint with ruler (Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash)

The Brain Architects Podcast: Brain Architecture: Laying the Foundation

Why are the early years of a child’s life so important for brain development? How are connections built in the brain, and how can early brain development affect a child’s future health? This episode of The Brain Architects dives into all these questions and more. First, Dr. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the […]

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Old-fashioned microphone in front of unfocused black-and-white background Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Coming Soon: The Brain Architects Podcast

Healthy development in the early years provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation. By improving children’s environments, relationships, and experiences early in life, society can address many costly problems, including incarceration, homelessness, and the failure to complete high school. But if you’re […]

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Animated woman with squiggly ball of stress over her head

Stress and Resilience: How Toxic Stress Affects Us, and What We Can Do About It

In this video, learn more about what toxic stress is, how it can affect you, and what you can do—both by yourself and in connection with your community—to deal with what you’re experiencing. Because even when toxic stress is caused by things you can’t control, like poverty, abuse, or racism, there are still ways both big and small to help you cope.

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A child and caregiver wearing goggles and doing a science experiment at a children's museum

Play in Early Childhood: The Role of Play in Any Setting

In this video, learn more about how play can foster children’s resilience to hardship, and how the complex interactions involved when children play help build their brains.

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Serve and return video cover

How-to: 5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return

This how-to video breaks down serve and return interactions into 5 simple steps and features adults and young children doing each step together.

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Motivation Brain

The Brain Circuits Underlying Motivation: An Interactive Graphic

The brain circuits underlying motivation are critical for attention, learning, and decision-making. In this interactive graphic, learn about the different parts of the brain that affect motivation and how they interact.

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Man and boy doing puzzle together

Urban Thinkscape: Transforming cityscapes into opportunities for playful learning

Urban Thinkscape transforms neighborhood spaces into opportunities for playful learning by infusing them with activities that challenge the mind while encouraging caregiver-child interactions.

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Building Core Capabilities for Life brain graphic with airplanes

How Children and Adults Can Build Core Capabilities for Life

Every day we take on the ordinary, sometimes challenging, tasks of work, school, parenting, relationships, and just managing our busy lives. How do we navigate these tasks successfully? And what can send us off course? Science offers an explanation.

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Jack Shonkoff discussing science-based innovation

The Case for Science-Based Innovation in Early Childhood

Center Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., describes the mission of the Center on the Developing Child and its vision for using science to innovate in the early childhood field and fundamentally change the lives of children facing adversity. As he states in the video: “In this field, where we have made progress—no question, we’ve made […]

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Intergenerational Mobility Project: Building Adult Capabilities for Family Success

This video profiles the Intergenerational Mobility Project and its use of a coaching framework to strengthen families’ ability to navigate the complexities of poverty.

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Ready4Routines: Building the Skills for Mindful Parenting

This video focuses on Ready4Routines, a project which supports parents as they work with their children to build regular family routines.

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Tipping the Scales: The Resilience Game

In this interactive feature, you will learn how the choices we make can help children and the community as a whole become more resilient in the face of serious challenges.

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A still from the video showing large animated hands holding up two parents and their toddler

InBrief: Early Childhood Mental Health

This video explains how improving children’s early environments can prevent initial difficulties from destabilizing later development and mental health.

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The Science of Resilience

InBrief: Resilience Series

These three videos provide an overview of why resilience matters, how it develops, and how to strengthen it in children.

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How Resilience Is Built screenshot

InBrief: How Resilience Is Built

Watch this video to learn how responsive exchanges with adults help children build the skills they need to manage stress and cope with adversity.

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The Science of Resilience

InBrief: The Science of Resilience

Watch this video to visualize the science of resilience, and see how genes and experience interact to produce positive outcomes for children.

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What is resilience screen shot

InBrief: What Is Resilience?

Watch this video to learn about the fundamentals of resilience, which is built through interactions between children and their environments.

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FIND: Using Science to Coach Caregivers

This video focuses on Filming Interactions to Nurture Development (FIND), a video coaching program that aims to strengthen positive interactions between caregivers and children.

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Black and white photo of a worried baby behind crib bars

InBrief: The Science of Neglect

This 6-minute video explains why significant neglect is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation.

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Child Development Core Story

This educational video series on the importance of the early years was created by the Project for Babies, a former initiative of the University of Minnesota Center for Early Education and Development.

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Theory of Change video still

Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change

This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

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Executive Function video still

InBrief: Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning

This five-minute video explains how executive function skills develop, what can disrupt their development, and how supporting them pays off in school and life.

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Three Core Concepts in Early Development

This three-part video series depicts how advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics now give us a much better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, for better or for worse.

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Graphic showing how toxic stress overtaxes the cardiovascular system

Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development

This 2-minute video explains how toxic stress can weaken the architecture of the developing brain, with long-term consequences for learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health.

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A mother responds to her baby's babbling

Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry

This 2-minute video explains why  “serve and return” interaction between children and significant adults in their lives is one of the most essential experiences in shaping the architecture of the developing brain.

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Experiences Build Brain Architecture video still, showing neurons firing and growing

Experiences Build Brain Architecture

This 2-minute video explains how the basic architecture of the brain is constructed through a process that begins early in life and continues into adulthood.

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Brain Hero

This 3-minute video adapts the visual sensibility of interactive game models to a video format. Based loosely on such games as “Guitar Hero,” “SimCity,” and “The Game of Life,” the video portrays how actions taken by parents, teachers, policymakers, and others can affect life outcomes for both the child and the surrounding community.

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Foundations of lifelong health video still

InBrief: The Foundations of Lifelong Health

This edition of the InBrief series 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 Programs video still

InBrief: Early Childhood Program Effectiveness

This video from the InBrief series outlines basic concepts from four decades of program evaluation research which help explain how society can ensure that children have a solid foundation for a productive future.

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Impact of Early Adversity video still

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

This video from the InBrief series outlines basic concepts from the research on the biology of stress which show that major adversity can weaken developing brain architecture.

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The Science of ECD video still

InBrief: The Science of Early Childhood Development

This video from the InBrief series addresses basic concepts of early childhood development, established over decades of neuroscience and behavioral research.

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