Early exposure to adverse experiences and stressors, such as poverty, unstable home environments, violence, and a lack of access to quality early education, can negatively affect a child’s development and long-term health and well-being. These experiences, especially within the first three years of life, transform the architecture of the developing brain and have lifelong impacts on a child’s cognitive and emotional development.

Tested policy approaches, such as evidence-based home visiting and maternal depression screening, can buffer the effects of adverse experiences and help shape the social environments in which children grow up and build a strong foundation for their health and wellness. ASTHO’s Early Brain Development project identifies and shares evidence and strategies to help states and territories foster healthy early childhood brain development. 

Featured

Promising Pathways for Public Health Leaders Infographic

The first in a two-part infographic series for public health leadership on early brain development.

View the infographic

Approaches Public Health Leaders Can Use to Make a Difference

Part two of the infographic series.

View the infographic

Breastfeeding for Healthy Early Brain Development

This brief discusses how home visiting programs provide breastfeeding support, foster healthy early brain development, and improve overall child health and well-being.

View the brief

Latest Resources

View of a classroom from the back, focus on a child with curly hair who has their hand raised
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Improving Youth Behavioral Health Through School-Based Strategies

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A diverse group of happy children run down on outdoor school hallway
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Improving Youth Behavioral Health Through School-Based Strategies

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Smiling father reading bedtime story to two happy kids
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Some Early Childhood Development Programs Stalled, Others Flourished During Pandemic

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Seated kids peeking over the top of their books
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Children’s Cabinets in Minnesota and Iowa Share Successes and Challenges

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Silhouette of children jumping outside at sunset
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Recent Federal Actions Spur Changes to Children's Blood Lead Level Screenings and Response

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Asian granddaughter hugging her grandmother outside in a park
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The Children COVID-19 Left Behind: A Public Health Call to Action

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A row of brown brick residential buildings in lower Manhattan
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Braiding and Layering Funding to Address Supportive Housing

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Young girls in team huddle
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Youth Sports as a Protective Factor to Promote Resiliency

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