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.
Your mother's voice reaches parts of the brain that others don't reach!
Recent research, published only in the last few weeks, has emphasised that a mother's voice plays a key role in the brain development of a child and should the mother's voice not be heard often and routinely development will be somewhat impoverished. Go to the Research Page to read our latest research summary.
Infant Mental Health Awareness Week June 2016 'Babies, Toddlers and their Relationships'
PIP UK joined forces with a number of other parenting and children's organisations to launch the UK's first national Infant Mental Health Awareness Week in June. 'Investing in Early Potential' was the focus of a key event chaired by Tim Loughton MP a former Minsiter for Children held in London during the week where delegates heard from speakers including Alistair Burt MP, Clair Rees (PIP UK), Chris Cuthbert (Big Lottery Better Start), Frank Field MP, Prof Jane Barlow (Warwick University), George Hosking (WAVE Trust), Dr Alain Gregoire (Perinatal Psychiatrist) Elaine Hanzak (personal testimony) and Andrea Leadsom MP (currently, Government Minister of State in the Department of Energy and Climate Change about the impact a child's early experience from conception has on their mental health.
It is worth repeating some of the shocking statistics highlighted during Infant Mental Health Awareness Week.
- Child maltreatment costs £15 billion every year in the UK
- Only 1% of government money for mental health is directed at young children.
- Infant mental health requires attuned secure primary attachment
- How we treat 0 - 2 shapes their lives and ultimately our society.
What was clearly evident from this week of events is that What About The Children?'s message about the importance of early years is now much more widely accepted and understood. There is no longer a lack of evidence or information about what needs to be done but there is still a way to go before this is reflected in government policy and the level of financial resource made available to Local Authorities.
An Important date in 2017
What About The Children? national conference
'Do infants have rights? Who's responsibility?'
9th March 2017
Royal Overseas League, Park Place London.
Confirmed speakers include:
Sir Al Anysley Green, Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, John Timpson.
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.