We believe the time has arrived for a mindset shift for the early childhood field as part of a broader movement for social change. The brain is indeed connected to the rest of the body—and early childhood policy in the 21st-century must focus on the overwhelming evidence that early experiences affect the foundations of both educational achievement and lifelong physical and mental health. Two recent presentations and a suite of resources from the Center can help you get informed and take action:
Hear the science straight from Center Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., along with presentations from experts on birth disparities and early childhood policies, in three brief presentations at the inaugural National Prenatal-to-3 Research to Policy Summit. Also features a panel discussion among the experts and examples of different approaches from state policymakers.
View this "crash course" in 21st-century science and how it can help us understand the COVID-19 pandemic from Center Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., given during the "Protecting Our Children: COVID-19’s Impact on Early Childhood and ACEs" webinar, presented by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. Also features presentation and discussion with experts on community-driven ACEs initiatives and trauma-informed health care.
Inflammation is a critical part of our immune system's stress response, but what exactly is inflammation and what happens when it's persistent and ongoing? How does it impact child development? This infographic addresses these questions and provides steps we can take to improve children's lifelong health.
The Center's latest Working Paper examines how developing biological systems in the body interact with each other and adapt to the contexts in which a child is developing—for better or for worse—with lifelong consequences for physical and mental health.
"As any number of Albert Einstein quotes will tell you, identifying the right question is a critical step toward finding the right solution. And for those seeking greater impacts for children and families, this may just be the big idea we have been looking for. That is, instead of asking 'Which program should we invest in?', perhaps we should be asking a different set of questions altogether."
In a new blog post for Capita, Hannah Barber, Project Manager at the Center on the Developing Child, challenges us to rethink how we improve child and family outcomes by asking the right questions and using science to design conditions and experiences that promote strong, healthy development.
Frontiers of Innovation (FOI) is the Center's research and design platform. FOI drives science-based innovation by providing ongoing consultation to a diverse portfolio of on-the-ground projects that form a dynamic learning community committed to shared learning, cumulative knowledge, and transformative child outcomes at the population level.
The Center on the Developing Child's student opportunities prepare Harvard undergraduate, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars to think differently, work differently, and drive innovation in research, policy, and practice to improve the well-being of vulnerable children.