How can we promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for healthy development?
What drives early childhood wellbeing?
Conditions for healthy beginnings include, but are not limited to, social support from family and teachers, economic stability, education, a safe neighborhood that includes parks, and comprehensive health care that begins before a child is born. Creating the right conditions for child development, by promoting safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments can make a difference in children’s health early on and throughout life.2
Many studies suggest that changes which improve family, caregiver and neighborhood circumstances in the earliest years of a child’s life have the best chance of putting a child on a strong developmental path—emotionally, intellectually and socially. 2
- Child wellbeing in the U.S. has fallen to 26 out of 29 developed nations.1
- 60% of American children were exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools and communities.3
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur before the age of 18.5 In California, over 60% of adults have experienced at least one ACE and one in six have experienced four or more ACEs.4
- ACEs have a cumulative impact on long term health. Research has demonstrated that the more ACEs an individual is exposed to, the higher the risk for adverse health outcomes throughout life.6
How can we build solutions that increase child and adolescent wellbeing by addressing the drivers mentioned above, as well as other community factors, to create safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children to grow and mature into thriving adults?
What’s being done?
Here are just a few examples of efforts underway at the state and local level to address this issue:
Talk. Read. Sing.
The First 5 California Commission for Children and Families launched a statewide media campaign that encourages parents and caregivers to talk, read, and sing to babies and toddlers. First 5 California provides information on the importance of early brain development, activity suggestions, and support resources to help parents of children 5 and under.