Building Better Brains

04.11.2016 09:40


A Brochure "Building Better Brains New Frontiers in Early Childhood Development"

Nutrition, protection early & lifelong learning, health, parenting, key Facts about the developing brain 

A dvances in neuroscience are beginning to drive a revolutionary shift in the way we think about child development, as we learn more about the impact of both positive and negative experiences — and the interplay of experience and genetics — on the developing brain. These developments have significant implications for the future of millions of the world’s most disadvantaged children and their societies — and therefore for our work in both humanitarian and development contexts.


We now know that the brain is as influenced by its environment as it is by its genetic blueprint — and that there is an early window of opportunity to provide the nourishment, stimulation,
and security children need for their brains need to develop fully — and to help fulfill their own potential. New frontiers of scientific inquiry are also exploring how parenting and caregiving may change the expression of genes in the brain, potentially affecting future generations. Today, 200 million children under the age of five are not achieving their developmental potential because of multiple adversities — marked by the lack of adequate nutrition, poor health and stimulating, nurturing, responsive, and safe environments.2 Research shows that investing in early interventions timed to take advantage of crucial phases of brain development can improve the lives of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and their societies, helping to break cycles of poverty, violence and despair.

About UNICEF:    
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

For more information:   
Jacklin Tzocheva, Communication Officer, UNICEF Bulgaria  
Tel: 02/9696208, E-mail: 

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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.