The science of child development shows that the foundation for sound mental health is built early in life, as early experiences—which include children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—shape the architecture of the developing brain. Disruptions in this developmental process can impair a child’s capacities for learning and relating to others, with lifelong implications. This two-page summary—part of the InBrief series—explains why, many costly problems for society, ranging from the failure to complete high school to incarceration to homelessness, could be dramatically reduced if attention were paid to improving children’s environments of relationships and experiences early in life. The brief provides an overview of Establishing a Level Foundation for Life: Mental Health Begins in Early Childhood, a Working Paper by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.
You can download and print the PDF here:
Originally published by: Center on the Developing Child Harvard University.