The environments we create and the experiences we provide for young children and their families affect not just the developing brain, but also other physiological systems.
This Working Paper, the fifteenth in the series from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, informs policymakers, leaders of human services systems, intervention developers, and practitioners in reducing disparities in preventable diseases and premature deaths and lowering the high costs of health care for chronic illnesses that have their origins in early childhood adversity. The 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.
This three-page InBrief highlights five key takeaways from our newest Working Paper, as well as implications for policymakers and practitioners. It explains in clear language how the foundations of lifelong health are built early, how physiological systems are affected by adversity early in life, and the importance of the prenatal period and the first few years after birth.
Center Director Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D. positions Working Paper 15 as a jumping-off point for a new conversation about the future of early childhood policy, practice, and investment in a post-pandemic world. This new conversation must link health and education in policy and practice, and connect to a broader movement of social change to address long-standing inequities laid bare by COVID-19's differential impacts.
Resilience can help us get through and overcome hardship. But resilience is not something we're born with—it's built over time as the experiences we have interact with our unique, individual genetic makeup. That's why we all respond to stress and adversity—like the COVID-19 pandemic—differently. What can we do to build up and strengthen resilience right now during the COVID-19 outbreak? And how can we build resilience to plan ahead for future times of crisis? This Brief offers three ways.
The 2020 Promising Ventures Fellowship Program application is launching later this month on June 29th. This program, run by Promise Ventures Studio, is a no-cost, 12 week accelerator tailored to the unique needs of social entrepreneurs in early childhood development.
The Center, along with Sesame Workshop, will partner with Promise to provide content expertise. These introductory events are great opportunities to meet the Promise team and the partners, dive into engaging, timely topics for social entrepreneurs, and learn more about the fellowship program.