As a nation, we have a history of getting to work on tough issues. Longstanding problems require innovative solutions. We stand at the center at translating the latest brain science into cutting-edge strategies that truly help children and families.
In 2011, we joined Frontiers of Innovation, a national effort by Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child to bring together leading experts to create new, innovative strategies to tackle the challenges facing children and impacting all of us as a nation.
FILMING INTERACTIONS TO NURTURE DEVELOPMENT (FIND)
Early brain development is like a game of tennis where back-and-forth interaction is the essence of the game. Infants and young children "serve" with gestures, looks and sounds, and adults "return" by responding appropriately. FIND uses videos of parents and caregivers to improve serve and return interactions.
Project partners include: University of Oregon, University of Washington, Washington State Department of Early Learning
Constant exposure to stressful situations —called “toxic stress”—disrupts brain development. This new curriculum designed especially for parents of young children helps build specific skills needed to support the child's healthy development while learning how to protect against toxic stress.
Project partners include: Southwest Behavioral Health, University of California San Francisco, Washington State University, Washington State Department of Early Learning
Play for Success
Research shows that the stress of poverty impacts child development. Disparities in children's executive function, the brain's air traffic control system, begin to show up as early as 6 months of age. This new innovative practice aims to help parents give their babies a brain boost through play.
Project partners include: Whitman College
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL AND ACADEMIC SUCCESS FOR CHILDREN AND PARENTS (SEACAP) MINDFUL PARENTING
Parenting is hard work and can be very stressful. This innovative program teaches parents how to use mindfulness techniques to reduce the stress of parenting and become more effective parents who can create safe, loving homes for their children.
Location: Early Learning Center at Highline
Project partners include: University of Washington
Raising young children is hard enough without all the extra stresses that come with financial hardship. We are adapting this award-winning program to our early childhood programs to help families develop the tools to move toward financial security while supporting their children's healthy development.
ATTENTION-BIAS MODIFICATION TRAINING
Many people who suffer from anxiety disorders have something called “attention-bias to threat.” This means that their brains mistakenly see danger when none is actually present and set off an alarm which causes anxiety. We’re using a cutting edge computer-based treatment to correct this imbalance and significantly reduce anxiety symptoms both in children and their parents.
Location: Vancouver Family Resource Center
Project partner includes: University of Maryland
GAME PLAY TO SUPPORT EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
Playing certain types of games with young children can help build the brain’s air traffic control system called executive functions. We’re teaching parents to use game play as an easy way to support their young children’s healthy brain development.
Project partner includes: University of California Berkeley, Childhaven