This tabletop board game experience was designed to engage policymakers, community and business leaders, health and education service providers, and government officials in understanding the science of early brain development—what promotes it, what derails it, and what are the consequences for society.
This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains why an environment of relationships is crucial for the development of a child’s brain architecture, which lays the foundation for later developmental outcomes.
This report synthesizes 15 years of dramatic advances in the science of early childhood and early brain development, analyzes evidence generated by 50 years of program evaluation research, and presents a framework for driving science-based innovation in early childhood policy and practice.
This online course draws from research in neuroscience, psychology, economics, anthropology, and program implementation and evaluation in order to discuss ECD and explore its role in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Through games and playful activities, children can practice and strengthen important executive function skills that will help them throughout their lives, including learning to focus their attention, strengthening their working memory, and developing basic self-control.
Connecting the Brain to the Rest of the Body: Early Childhood Development and Lifelong Health Are Deeply Intertwined
The rapidly advancing frontiers of 21st-century biological sciences now provide compelling evidence that the foundations of lifelong health are built early, with increasing evidence of the importance of the prenatal period and first few years after birth.
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! […]
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 […]
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 […]
As essential as they are, we aren’t born with the skills that enable us to control impulses, make plans, and stay focused. In this infographic, learn more about what executive function skills are, why they’re important, and how they’re built.
In this Mini Parenting Master Class from UNICEF, Center on the Developing Child Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., explains the importance of serve and return interactions like play—and how easy they are to do, especially through practice!
What is epigenetics? In this infographic learn about the science behind genes and their interaction with the environment — nature and nurture — and how these interactions affect child development.
Understanding both the biology of adversity and the science of early learning is essential for building a strong foundation for reducing disparities in educational achievement. The benefits of evidence-based curricula in the early childhood years cannot be fully achieved without effective strategies for preventing the consequences of toxic stress. Center Director Jack Shonkoff speaks at […]
Learn how to empower and support families so that they can engage in meaningful conversations with their young children and advance their language and lifelong learning. The eight-session “Talk With Me Baby” course is open to the public and available through Cox Campus and Read Right from the Start.
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 working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains how exposure to toxins before birth or early in life can have a devastating and lifelong effect on the developing architecture of the brain.
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.
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 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.
This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains key scientific advances in understanding why the early years matter for brain development, as well as the implications of those findings for policy.
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.
This video from the InBrief series addresses basic concepts of early childhood development, established over decades of neuroscience and behavioral research.
This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child discusses how a child’s capacity to regulate emotions develops in a complex interaction with his or her environment and ongoing mental, physical, and social development. It also discusses the implications of this research for policies affecting young children, their caregivers, and service providers.
This report outlines seven core concepts of development, and explains their implications for policies and programs that could significantly improve children’s lives.
This report provides a framework for using evidence to improve child outcomes in learning, behavior, and health.
Early experiences can affect how and if genes are expressed. This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains how children’s early environmental influences shape their developing brain architecture.