ECFC Member Funded Research

Three Trimesters to Three Years: Promoting Early Development

The Fall 2020 issue of The Future of Children journal, Three Trimesters to Three Years: Promoting Early Development, examines the factors that affect a child’s development, beginning at conception through age three, when the most rapid growth of the brain occurs.

Up until now, most research has separated pregnancy to birth and the first three years when examining a child’s development.

In introducing the issue, co-editors Anna Aizer of Brown University and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn of Teachers College, Columbia University explain that tying the nine months of pregnancy to the first three years of life serves to highlight the continuity of development over the course of a child’s early years.

Accordingly, the issue is organized along the lines of the inputs necessary for health and development during this longer than usually examined period of growth:

  • Pregnancy and fetal development: the child’s first home;
  • Parental nurturance and sensitivity: the child’s first relationships;
  • Parental language and cognitive activities: the child’s first learning environment;
  • Stability and organization in the home and neighborhood: the child’s experience of consistency;
  • Family income: the child’s experience of material security;
  • Child nutrition: the child’s experience of food security; health care: the universal service;
  • Parental leave to care for the baby: the balance between family and work; and
  • Child care and education: the first out-of-home caregivers and teachers.

Read the full journal:  Three Trimesters to Three Years: Promoting Early Development

This special issue of the Future of Children was funded
by ECFC Member, The Nicholson Foundation