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 working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child defines the concept of toxic stress—what happens when children experience severe, prolonged adversity without adult support.
This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains why young children who experience severe deprivation or neglect can experience a range of negative consequences.
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.
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 working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains how early exposure to circumstances that produce persistent fear and chronic anxiety can have lifelong effects on physical and mental health.
This report provides a framework for using evidence to improve child outcomes in learning, behavior, and health.
This report outlines seven core concepts of development, and explains their implications for policies and programs that could significantly improve children’s lives.
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.
Toxic stress is the subject of this on-demand webcast from The Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health. The discussion featured Center director Jack P. Shonkoff; Robert W. Block, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics; and Roberto Rodríguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy in the White House. Launched in 2010, The Forum seeks to provide decision makers with a global platform to discuss policy choices and scientific controversies.
This brief discusses five numbers that illustrate the importance of early childhood to the learning, behavior, and health of later life.
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.
The Florida State University Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy (CPEIP), working in collaboration with the Center on the Developing Child and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), developed these Early Childhood Health Optimization resources for pediatricians, OB/GYNs, and Care Coordinators across the state of Florida. Available free of charge via CPEIP’s website, the resources include an interactive, multimedia module (approximately 52 minutes) and discussion guide introducing practitioners to the science of early childhood development, toxic stress, executive function, resilience, and mental health.
In this science talk, David Williams looks at the social and behavioral factors that play a role in triggering toxic stress for children and adults.
While moderate, short-lived stress responses in the body can promote growth, toxic stress is the strong, unrelieved activation of the body’s stress management system in the absence of protective adult support.