Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

December/January 2013Vol. 13, No. 11From Neurons to Neighborhoods Update

The National Academies of Sciences recently released a report updating the child development field on a research initiative from 2000 titled From Neurons to Neighborhoods. The original report resulted from a study spanning more than 2 years and aimed at reexamining the nation's response to the needs of young children and families. The update sought to assess measureable progress on the goals outlined in the original report, as well as evaluate challenges that remain in the field.

The first section of the report update is devoted to discussing the four themes highlighted in the original report and assessing their current relevance. The researchers note that all four themes are still worthy of attention. These themes are:

  • Children are born wired for feelings and ready to learn
  • Early environments are important, and nurturing relationships are essential
  • Society is changing, and the needs of young children are not being addressed adequately
  • Interactions among early childhood science, policy, and practice are problematic and demand significant rethinking

The report update also devotes a chapter to research issues in early childhood development. This section includes a number of papers from experts in the field on timely topics, including nature and nurture, the role of stress in physical and mental health, and learning. Finally, the report devotes a section to policy issues in early childhood development.

The full report, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update: Workshop Summary, is available for purchase on the National Academies Press website:

Related Item

Children's Bureau Express covered the original report From Neurons to Neighborhoods in the article "Study Calls for Reexamining How We Treat Young Children" (January/February 2001).