Children are the foundation of the United States, and supporting them is a key component of building a successful future. However, millions of children face health inequities that compromise their development, well-being, and long-term outcomes, despite substantial scientific evidence about how those adversities contribute to poor health. Advancements in neurobiological and socio-behavioral science show that critical biological systems develop in the prenatal through early childhood periods, and neurobiological development is extremely responsive to environmental influences during these stages. Consequently, social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors significantly affect a child’s health ecosystem and ability to thrive throughout adulthood.
Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity builds upon and updates research from Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity (2017) and From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development (2000). This report provides a brief overview of stressors that affect childhood development and health, a framework for applying current brain and development science to the real world, a roadmap for implementing tailored interventions, and recommendations about improving systems to better align with our understanding of the significant impact of health equity.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Vibrant and Healthy Kids: Aligning Science, Practice, and Policy to Advance Health Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25466.
|1 The Need to Intervene Early to Advance Health Equity for Children and Families||29-76|
|2 Healthy Development from Conception Through Early Childhood||77-140|
|3 Development Happens in Contexts: Overview of Early Life Critical Influences||141-232|
|4 Fostering Caregiver Well-Being Toward Healthy Child Development||233-300|
|5 Leveraging the Health Care System to Improve Outcomes and Promote Health Equity||301-388|
|6 Creating Healthy Living Conditions for Early Development||389-472|
|7 Promoting Health Equity Through Early Care and Education||473-544|
|8 A Systems Approach to Advance Early Development and Health Equity||545-568|
|9 A Roadmap for Applying the Science of Early Development||569-578|
|Appendix A: Criteria for Selecting Promising Models||579-582|
|Appendix B: Public Meeting Agendas||583-588|
|Appendix C: Committee Biographical Sketches||589-598|
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