Your browser doesn't support JavaScript. Please upgrade to a modern browser or enable JavaScript in your existing browser.
Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Improving Early Childhood Development

Why This Focus?


Dr. Ross Thompson, Professor of Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.

Much of a child's physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development occurs from birth to age five. A focus on the science of early brain development in recent years has given us a better understanding of the importance of early experiences and relationships to a child's development.

The sentinel work, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, provides compelling evidence that early experiences influence brain development.

As described by Dr. Thompson, nurturing early brain development requires a comprehensive approach of prevention and early intervention strategies, targeted at both parents and children. A growing emphasis on school readiness requires a focus on how children feel as much as on how they think. Their social, emotional, and mental health and the environment in which they live form the basis for their readiness to learn.

Previous Section Previous Section         Contents         Next Section Next Section

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care