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.
Professor Vivette Glover, an international expert on the effect of the mother's emotional state in pregnancy on the development of the foetus and her child, and also special advisor to the Department of Health on the Family Nurse Partnership, will give the 2015 Goodman Lecture keynote address at What About The Children?'s national conference 'The First Three Years Last For Ever- why?' on the 11th March 2015.
What About The Children? hosts an invitation lecture every two years in memory of its founder Doreen Goodman. Those invited to deliver the Goodman Lecture are distinguished in academic fields relevant to the work of the charity. Previous Goodman lecturers have included Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, Dr Margot Sunderland and Professor Sir Denis Pereira Gray.
Stress Physiology in Early Child Development
Scientists now understand that the way our brains react to stress is driven by interactions between hormones produced by the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal glands. This recent work from science shows that children are at high risk during the early years and suggest how research into the physiology of stress might help develop ways to prevent some of the potential effects of adverse care during early childhood.
What About The Children? has published helpful advice for parents who need to leave their children in day care with guidance on what they can do to alleviate the misery this separation can cause.
To read "GUIDANCE FOR PARENTS ON HOW TO ALLEVIATE THE MISERY OF CHILDCARE DROP-OFF" click here
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.