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? speaks out for the emotional needs of children under three who are too young to speak for themselves. We publish a monthly Blog and you can followed us on Twitter@WATCthechildren
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.
NB What About The Children? National Conference 18th March 2020 has been postponed due to Coronvirus situation
Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill debate in the House of Lords 13th March 2020
Baroness Brady (Con) said 'We know that childhood in this country is in a crisis; a vicious circle of inactivity, mental health problems and being overweight feed off each other and are likely to result in the least healthy adult population in living memory. We have, therefore, argued consistently for a Cabinet Minister for children and young people, to ensure that children’s needs are central to decisions across the policy range' Read the full debate . https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2020-03-13/debates/5AEA2F72-4FB2-46D7-BDB2-12BA5F5776BC/WellbeingOfFutureGenerationsBill(HL)
What About The Children?'s Research Summaries are a comprehensive resource on the research evidence on infant brain development and the importance of secure attachment
Read our latest Research Summary 'Unresolved trauma and reorganization in mothers: Attachment and neuroscience perspectives' Iyengar U, Rajhans P, Fonagy P, Strathearn L and Kim S. (2019) Frontiers in Psychology 10(10), doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00110
Listen to this important debate from the House of Lords. Children and Families: Early Years Interventions. https://youtu.be/zjPY0E0qqoc
The Debate on 27th February 2020 was led by the Rt Rev The Lord Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek in which she said in this debate, we are not simply focusing on little people. We are talking about investment in the start of life, which affects the long-term well-being of individuals, families, households, communities, our country and beyond. There is a very strong case for improving early years interventions and having a clear and joined-up strategy for doing so.
To read the full transcript of the debate click the link below
Listen to this podcast 15. Mothers and Childcare to find out about the science behind how a mother's love shapes and builds her baby's brain. https://mothersmatter.libsyn.com
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.