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Evidence Report

The early years of life are characterised by significant opportunity, rapid change and accelerated development which is unparalleled by any other subsequent stage of life.

This Evidence Report highlights the importance of the early years and the neuroscience of early brain development and describes the crucial role of relationships, experiences and stress in shaping the developing brain structure and function.

Read this Evidence Report for an in-depth look at brain development in the early years.

Research Snapshot

Early childhood is a time of rapid development and significant opportunity for leaning; more so than any other stage of life. How a child experiences the world during these early years lays the foundations for their lifelong health and wellbeing.

A healthy and positive start in life can enable a child to successfully manage everyday challenges, develop a sense of personal wellbeing, build relationships and reach their full potential.

Read this Research Snapshot for a quick look at brain development in the early years.


Brain Development


Brain Builders: How Brains are Built


Experiences Build Brain Architecture - Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University


ChatterBox instructions

About the game

Scientists say the way to help kids build healthy brain architecture is through “serve and return” interactions. A child reaches out for interaction (“serves”), and the caregiver responds (“returns”).

Here’s a serve-and-return game to play with your children.

Download the PDF of the game below, print it out (double-sided), and follow the video instructions to put it together, then enjoy playing with your ChatterBox!


Building Strong Foundations for Healthy Brain Development

Stressful events and impoverished environments can affect the physical structure and function of a child’s brain. This is valuable information for those trying to work out how to best support children and intervene in times of adversity. As Dr Rosemarie Perry, a developmental psycho-biologist from New York University, explains, neuroscience has transformed our understanding of child development, providing new insights into how the developing brain underpins learning, behaviour and lifelong health.