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?' National Conference
20th March 2019, Royal Overseas League, Park Place, London
' What Price Infant Mental Health? –
what are the costs of ignoring the emotional wellbeing of our youngest children?'
Following our successful 2018 Conference, What About The Children? is working on the conference programme for 2019. The focus will be infant mental health and what needs to change to reduce the numbers of children and young people who develop mental health problems, get the date 20th March 2019 into your diary now? More details about speakers and how to book will be published in the next few weeks.
Comments from delegates who attended our 2018 conference.
"It was inspiring and will motivate me to share the information I gathered during the day. Thank you. I needed a bit of a kick "
"It has brought my enthusiasm alive again. Your conferences always invigorate me. It heartens me that your speakers, whilst giving raw truths about the consequences of trauma in children's lives (right into adulthood) also gave messages of hope."
"Really informative/positive, diverse and interesting. Lovely to hear from such interesting points of view"
Technoference: longitudinal associations between parent technology use, parenting stress, and child behaviour problems.
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.
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.