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.
Go to the Research Page to find our latest research summaries. These four papers have been selected from a review of 21 papers which appear in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology on aspects of 'The impact of stress on the brain: pathology, treatment and prevention'. They are of key interest for those seeking a better understanding of the wide range of effects that stress, in all its guises, has on children in their early years. The effect of early stress can affect the development of the brain with long-term consequences for the individuals concerned. Furthermore, high levels of stress in infancy can affect the child's genes by epigenetic changes. The research suggests that the outcome of the epigenetic process appears to be trans-generational transmission of some of the effects of the original stress.
Brainwave, a New Zealand based organisation have given us permission to make their review 'How are the children doing?', written by Sue Younger and Keryn O'Neil, available in the UK. It provides useful advice on many of the questions and concerns parents have about childcare.
'We're all in this together, and we all want what is best for children. We know that almost all parents out there want to do the best by their children. Which is why they deserve good, honest, as-objective as-possible information.'
What About The Children? 2016 Conference 'Cracking The Code - young children are born ready to communicate but they need a translator'. Speakers notes are now available.
'Baby Talk' - What They Say the Minute They're Born
Scientists have discovered that newborn babies are conveying nine different messages to their parents about how they feel in their first hour of life, it was announced at the What About The Children? national conference 10th March 2016. Click the link below to read in full.
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.