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.
The beginning of September sees the publication of two new books about children and childhood: 'Happy Healthy Children: Why Mothering Matters' and 'Transforming Infant Wellbeing: Research, policy and practice for the first 1001 days'. Both publications identify important messages for our policy makers if we are to achieve real improvement in the lives of children and ultimately society.
In her latest book Sally seeks to explain why 'mothering' and indeed parenting as a joint responsibility of mothers and fathers, is so important in our 'ever-changing' world. Not only does she provide information about child development, but she also provides possible answers and policy action points to address issues which concern so many of us. Happy Healthy Children Why Mothering Matters by Sally Goddard Blythe ISBN978-1-907359-83-5
Transforming Infant Wellbeing edited by Penny Leach brings together science and policy to highlight the critical importance of the first 1,001 days of infancy: the period from conception to the second birthday. It uniquely combines academic knowledge of infant development in a way to interest a broad audiences of parents, professionals and policy makers. The book has at its heart 25 original articles by acknowledged experts in different aspects of infant health and development.
Raising and Transforming Infant Wellbeing: Research, policy and practice for the first 1001 days. edited by Penelope Leach. ISBN 10:1138689548 or ISBN 13:978-1138689541
Go to our Research Page to read What About The Children?'s latest research summary which provides important insight into the place of fathers in raising emotionally secure children. This paper aimed to identify the multi-dimensional aspects of paternal involvement and their potential influence on pre-adolescent children’s behaviour.
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.