From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update - Workshop Summary


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The 2000 IOM report, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, called for a fundamental reexamination of the nation’s response to the needs of young children and families, drawing upon a wealth of scientific knowledge that had emerged in recent decades. The study shaped policy agendas and intervention efforts at national, state, and local levels. It has helped to foster a highly dynamic and increasingly visible science of early childhood development and contributed to a growing public understanding of the foundational importance of the early childhood years.

Ten years later, October 27-28, 2010, the IOM and the National Research Council held a workshop to review and commemorate a decade of advances related to the mission of the report. The workshop reflected on the four overarching themes from the 2000 report:

  1. All children are born wired for feelings and ready to learn.
  2. Early environments matter and nurturing relationships are essential.
  3. Society is changing and the needs of young children are not being addressed.
  4. Interactions among early childhood science, policy, and practice are problematic and demand dramatic rethinking.

This document summarizes the workshop.