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 is the impact of the increased use of smart phones on family life? This latest What About The Children? Research Summary on research by McDaniel and Radesky into the the use of mobile devices on human relationships considers their impact on relationships between couples and between parents and their children.
Technoference: longitudinal associations between parent technology use, parenting stress, and child behaviour problems.
'It is likely that the roots of many common diseases of middle and old age lie in pregnancy and infancy, and that supporting the parents of young infants and encouraging nurturing care should improve the health and wellbeing of those infants throughout their lives'
The fetal programming of telomere biology hypothesis: an update
Entringer, S., de Punder, K., Buss, C. and Wadhwa, P.D. (2018)
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 373: 20170151.
More details about this research by Entringer, S., de Punder, K., Buss, C. and Wadhwa, P.D. (2018) have been summarised for What About The Children? by Dr Clare Sansom and can be found in the SAB (Scientific Advisory Board) section of our Research Page
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.