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We talk about the first 1001 days as the time between conception and two years of age during which some of our most fundamental development takes place. It is during this time that the foundations for our future physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth are laid. Getting these foundations right are critical to a future where we can thrive.

Read through this interactive resource to learn more about the first 1001 days of a child’s development and why it is so important.


Giving every child the best start in their early years not only supports their immediate needs, but also lays the foundations for later life. Providing the right support for children in the first 1001 days of their life is crucial to their continuing development and their future life chances.

In this topic, you’ll explore the importance of this phase and how you can support a crucial stage in a child’s life. You’ll learn about how a infant’s brain develops, and the legacy of this on their childhood and beyond; how early relationships impact on wellbeing and development and how being ‘cared for’ meets physical and emotional needs.

You’ll also consider how adverse experiences impact on later physical and mental health, and how you can help to reduce these negative impacts. You’ll also reflect on how interaction with positive healthy relationships, and learning in environments that respond to them as a unique person – and which value their cultures and identities – are critical.

Before you continue, take a moment to think carefully about the following

  • What might be ‘normal’ differences in development and growth? What impact might there be in accidentally thinking about this as ‘abnormal’?
  • What relationships are important in the early development of children, and how do we recognise a ‘good’ relationship?
  • How to identify adverse childhood experiences, and how you can help reduce the potential negative effects?

Further Resources