The "Missing" First Year

While parents have a general understanding that what happens in a child’s early years can last a lifetime, many don’t realize the critical importance of the first year of life. Understanding what children are taking in and learning during daily interactions can help parents nurture their child’s healthy development.

ZERO TO THREE’s National Parent Survey, Tuning In, conducted in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation, revealed that a notable portion of parents miss the mark on what is happening with their baby’s development by months, or even years. ZERO TO THREE calls this misalignment of knowledge and expectations the “Missing” First Year.

To address the “Missing” First Year, ZERO TO THREE has created resources designed to help raise awareness about the critical importance of connections in the first months and years of babies’ lives. The materials provide tips that can help parents and caregivers nurture babies’ brain development starting at birth, including building language and communication skills, raising a reader from the get-go, and putting brain science into action.