Supporting Young Children Exposed to Potentially Traumatic Events: Implications for Early Care and Education Policy

Caroline P. Martin*, Jaclyn Russo, Hayley Goldenthal, Carmen Holley, Karen R. Gouze, Amanda Williford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Every year in the United States, millions of young children under the age of 5 are exposed to potentially traumatic events that threaten their safety, security, and well-being. Decades of scientific research clearly demonstrate the pervasive negative consequences of trauma exposure on young children’s neurocognitive, psychosocial, and physical development, with adverse effects extending into adulthood. In addition, early childhood trauma is now widely recognized as a significant public health concern warranting comprehensive intervention. Federal, state, and private early care and education (ECE) programs serve a large number of the 0 to 5 population and can mitigate the harmful consequences of trauma exposure for children’s health and well-being. The literature on early childhood trauma should guide the creation of policies that strengthen ECE, enabling the delivery of high-quality, equitable, trauma-informed care to young children prior to formal school entry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalPolicy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • child care
  • early care and education
  • early childhood
  • preschool
  • trauma
  • trauma-informed care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Administration

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