Sharing Resources: The Center on the Developing Child – Harvard University

Resource: Center on the Developing Child `Harvard University
http://developingchild.harvard.edu/
The mission of the Center on the Developing Child centers on four prominent points
1) To provide and leverage information for current and feature administrators and leaders responsible for engaging communities in the development and ongoing implementation of programs that create and promote healthy childhood development.
2) To design, evaluate and encourage innovative programs and practices that promote well-being.
3) To be an authoritative force in developing and implementing effective science-based policies through sharing information and building critical partnerships with legislators, educators, health officials and families.
4) To create a unified base using science involving behavior learning and health which investigates causes of “lifelong impairments” in order to decreases these trending issues with our children (Center on the Developing Child, 2014).
In essence, by studying brain development and its relevance to social and behavior sciences, the Center on the Developing Child encompasses all aspects of early childhood by focusing their attention to
1) Science in Early Childhood
2) Understanding Intervention
3) Innovation
4) Global Child Development
5) Foundation of Lifelong Health
As part of our blogs this term is focusing on the commonalities and differences in early childhood development and education here in the United and worldwide, there are two initiatives that are featured under Global Child Development. The first is a collaboration involving science in early childhood in Brazil and the second is the Zambian Early Childhood Development Project. The Brazil initiative is the first project outside of the United States that the Center on the Developing Child is undertaking to help children on a global scale. Also on the Global Child Development tab, it was interesting to note that videos were offered in Spanish and Portuguese related to current topics.

But what completely caught my attention was the Frontiers of Innovation tab. Filled with articles, videos and interactive galleries, the Innovation tab at first glance looks like a collaboration between students, educators and other early childhood specialists. Upon further review, my guess was correct. Frontiers of Innovations is a collective group of researchers, practitioners, policy makers, experts and others that find new ways to implement practices and policies concerning the science, biological, social and behavior well-being of children. This is definitely a website I will keep in my favorites tab as a go-to for articles, information. student volunteer and employment opportunities regarding early childhood development and education.

Children and Clean Water

“768 million people still use unsafe drinking water” (UNICEF 2013)
“More than 125 million children under five years of age live in households without access to an improved drinking-water source”(UNICEF 2006)
“Under-five mortality in South Asia, at 92 child deaths per 1,000 live births, is the highest in the developing world” (UNICEF 2006)

These are alarming statistics. In Cambodia alone, over 20% of the deaths in children under five is contributed to contaminated water (Water for Cambodia 2013). Lack of clean water has not only led to death but poverty, poor sanitation conditions and malnutrition and at risk pregnancies within the most impoverished villages. Organizations such as UNICEF and Water for Cambodia provide water filtration systems and educate families not only on how to maintain and care for their water filtration system, but has also provided education and training on proper health, hygiene, reading, writing and mathematics. By changing the conditions of the mother’s pre-natal and full birth state, children have a better chance at healthy development and the ability to obtain an education to change their circumstances.

As educators we have a responsibility in knowing the conditions and circumstances that can prevent children from developing and maturing into productive citizens. Staying informed allow us to make educated decisions and assist in facilitating change.

References

Water for Cambodia (2013). Retrieved from http://www.waterforcambodia.org/
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, (UNICEF 2013). Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/wash/
UNICEF (2006). Progress for Children: A report card on water and sanitation (Number 5, September 2006). Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Progress_for_Children_No._5_-_English.pdf