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The Developing Child

Man wearing a black hoody leads a class for children.  He is holding his hand up in the air and the children are copying him.

Society pays a huge price when children don’t reach their full potential because they are the future, the next generation. What we do to enable and empower our children today paves the way for a thriving and stable society tomorrow.

Reports estimate that 200 million children around the world fail to reach their full developmental potential by the age of five. Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child uses science to inform policy and drive innovation, working to achieve breakthrough outcomes for children around the world.

The science behind it is simple: that good emotional health is built on developing core life skills – beliefs and behaviours such self-belief, self-awareness, self-regulation, self-agency, beliefs about others, social awareness, and relationship skills – that shape us and help us face and survive life’s challenges. In order to develop these skills in children we need to build the capabilities of the adults in their lives.

These life skills help society’s children grow to meet their full potential and, although it’s never too late to develop or improve these skills, what we do to support this development in our children now will have a life-long impact on them as adults.

The Center’s work speaks directly to the Nurturing Programme ethos and our training courses. At The Centre for Emotional Health, everything we do focuses on developing, improving, and sustaining these life skills to help us to thrive in all aspects of our lives – in parenting and other relationships, in education and at work.

Our training supports the understanding, development, and maintenance of the important behaviours that promote emotional health, starting before birth - where we work with expectant parents - and continuing through key developmental stages to work in the early years, in schools and with teenagers. Our training benefits relationships in all settings - homes, schools, and in the workplace – and we also deliver training into environments and communities less well served, such as working with prisoners and within the orthodox Muslim community.

As parents and teachers, we each have a responsibility. Ultimately, our ability to provide stable, emotionally healthy environments for our children today promises a society that will thrive in the future.


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