New video on early childhood investments from the National Academy of Sciences

When I arrived in Nablus for a yearlong fellowship in June 2011, I knew that the experience would be a transformative one. I expected to learn about Palestinian history, culture, and social structures, about education and community development, and about resilience in the face of extreme adversity. What I did not expect was to come away with the conviction that preschool is one of the most valuable assets a community can have. Now back in Washington, DC, that conviction has only been strengthened by my work on the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. For the past 7 months, I’ve been working to launch an initiative that will inform high-impact investments in young children around the world, particularly in low-resource environments.

Through this work, I’ve met international experts in fields as diverse as education, nutrition, psychology, health, and economics who agree that, with smart and integrated investments, it is possible to support every child’s ability to develop to his or her full potential. How? In this 4-minute video, leading scientists explain what we know about how children develop, and how we can most effectively and efficiently support their health, learning, and wellbeing. Bonus: see if you can spot the kids from TYO’s Core Program!

Read on for more information about the new initiative on investing in young children globally at the National Academy of Sciences--

This video is the product of a planning meeting held in March 2013 to explore the need for a new Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally at the Institute of Medicine. At the meeting, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners examined the global research on the period from birth to age eight as a critical time in shaping children’s developmental trajectories. They discussed the state of the research, as well as challenges and opportunities for translating research into programs and policies. Due to clear interest in establishing this forum, efforts are underway to identify members and launch the forum before the end of 2013. For more information, visit the websites of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families: and


Karen Campion is a Research Assistant with the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. She was a TYO Fellow from July 2011 to June 2012 as a recipient of the Princeton Class of 1956-81 International ReachOut Fellowship.