Child Development External Resources

Science of Early Child Development

The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) resources bring research and concepts to life with hundreds of readings, videos, links, questions for reflection, and interactive activities. From the latest research into babies' brain development and the impact of early experience on well-being, to topics such as child rights, literacy and the importance of play, SECD explores how nature and nurture interact from conception on to construct a foundation for development.

What’s Behind Separation Anxiety

Handling separation anxiety isn’t only about managing an individual child, it is also about working with their parents through it all and creating a safe and welcoming environment. It also helps to understand what's behind separation anxiety for different age groups, and strategies to help!

How-to-Video: 5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve & Return

Did you know that you can help build a child’s brain – starting even before babies can talk? Simple serve and return interactions between adults and young children help make strong connections in developing brains. And, it’s easy and fun to do! This how-to video from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child breaks down serve and return into 5 simple steps and features adults and young children doing each step together.

A Guide to Toxic Stress in Childhood

Chances are, you’ve heard or read something about toxic stress—maybe from the media, from a physician or other medical professional, or from a family member, friend, or neighbor. You may feel overwhelmed by all of the toxic stress information out there. And, unfortunately, it’s very easy to find misleading or incorrect information. The Center on the Developing Child created this Guide to Toxic Stress to clear up the confusion and help you learn the facts about toxic stress step by step.

Healthy Baby, Healthy Brain: Videos to share with parents

Parents and caregivers play an important role in the healthy development of a baby's brain. This website is full of helpful videos to share with parents to help them understand how they can support their baby's healthy development.

Infographic: What is epigenetics and how does it relate to child development?

Epigenetics explains how early experiences can have lifelong impact. Science tells us that environmental influences—including the experiences we provide for children—actually affect the expression of their genes. This means that the old idea of Nature vs. Nurture is no longer a debate. It's nearly always both! To understand more about epigenetics and how it affects child development and long-term health outcomes, check out this new infographic.

What Is Early Childhood Development? A Guide to the Science

Healthy development in the early years (particularly birth to three) provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, lifelong health, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation. What can we do during this incredibly important period to ensure that children have a strong foundation for future development? The Center on the Developing Child created this Guide to Early Childhood Development (ECD) to help parents, caregivers, practitioners, and policymakers understand the importance of early childhood development and learn how to support children and families during this critical stage.

A Guide to Executive Function

Executive function and self-regulation skills are like an air traffic control system in the brain—they help us manage information, make decisions, and plan ahead. We need these skills at every stage of life, and while no one is born with them, we are all born with the potential to develop them. But, how do we do that? Here's a Guide to Executive Function to walk you through everything you need to know about these skills and how to develop and practice them.

Children need to be active, so Have a Ball!

Physical activity is essential to healthy child development, and the early years are the best time to give kids an active start. But where do you begin? The Have a Ball Together website will give you the tools you need to be able to promote and encourage physical activity for children 0-6.

Child Development and Trauma Guide

This child development and trauma guide is full of simple resources to help us understand the typical developmental pathways of children and possible indicators of trauma at differing ages and stages.