Research confirms that a child's experience in the first three years of life shape its future - out of all proportion to the rest of childhood. A secure primary attachment relationship is the main protective factor due to the impact it has on the developing brain. When a child's first 3 years are right, it brings huge benefits not just for the child but for the whole of society.
Scientific research is convincing in its message that the first three years of life shape a child's physical, emotional and mental development – for good or bad – out of proportion to the rest of childhood. What About The Children? is a voice for children too young to speak out about their emotional needs themselves.
What About The Children? campaigns for policies that promote prevention rather than intervention to protect the emotional well being of all children. It speaks for the emotional needs of under threes at All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG's) concerned with children, at the Early Childhood Forum, and Save Childhood Movement.
Young children, who are nurtured, talked to and played with attentively by a constant, sensitive and responsive carer – most often, but not always, the mother – with other caring adults as secondary attachment figures, will almost invariably thrive.
We campaign to ensure children receive consistent, responsive loving care in their earliest years critical for optimum brain development and long term physical and mental health.
What About the Children? brings together academics and practitioners at its annual conference & bi ennnial Goodman lectures on a broad range of aspects of early child development. Past conference papers can be downloaded here.
What About the Children? searches out current scientific research in neuroscience, psychology, biology and the medical sciences, selecting research that provide new insights into early life experiences. We summarise these academic papers for the wider professional community and others interested in children's well being.
Our Research Summaries are grouped by the year the research was published.
What About The Children? celebrated its 25th anniversary at the national conference on the 8th March. What About The Children?'s new Patron Sir John Timpson, President Professor Sir Denis Pereira Gray and Vice- Presidents Sir Richard Bowlby and Susannah Clasen .joined over 80 guests to mark this milestone in the life of the charity. with presentations from internationally renowned speakers: Professor Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Dr. Susan Pawlby and Dr Ronnie Cloke Browne. The speakers' presentations can be found on the Conference Page.
Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health.
In December 2017 the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department of Education published a Green Paper 'Transforming children and young people's mental health'
The green paper sets out government aspiration to support all young people with their mental health, What About The Children? supports many of the recommendations for interventions for older children in our response to government we have said that a strategy based on prevention of mental health difficulties should focus on the critical period of development from conception to age three. .
'Ensuring consistent, responsive and attuned care and positive attachment relationships during the period of most rapid development, from conception to age three, is key to preventing many of the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that impact on future mental health'.
Read more: Children's mental health green paper
What About The Children? relies entirely on its supporters for funding and on the hard work of its committed volunteers.
Help us get the important message about emotional needs and early brain development out to even more people.
What About The Children?, a small national charity, brings together people from a range of backgrounds and expertise who have come together to campaign on behalf of the emotional needs of children too young to speak for themselves. The charity is independent with no political or religious affiliations.