Journal Issue: Caring for Infants and Toddlers Volume 11 Number 1 Spring/Summer 2001
Research and Public Education
On the national level, the Starting Points Initiative brought key research evidence about the needs of young children to the attention of policymakers and the public. Evidence from neuroscience, and developmental and cognitive psychology focused on the early years of life, was showcased at a national conference and in a report called Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development,3 while other reports highlighted practical lessons about successful community mobilization from public health and community education campaigns.4,5 The Starting Points Initiative forged partnerships with governors, mayors, legislators, and other state and local policymakers to advance early childhood reforms and collaborated with the Clinton administration in the planning of two White House conferences on early childhood development held in 1997.
Carnegie Corporation and a consortium of more than a dozen philanthropies and corporations also supported the national public awareness campaign, I Am Your Child, led by Hollywood film actor-director Rob Reiner and the New York City-based Families and Work Institute. The campaign disseminated research reports, community planning guides, videotapes, and a CD-ROM for parents of young children on early childhood and brain development; and it helped shape a special edition of Newsweek magazine titled Your Child: Birth to Three. As a complement to these national activities, state-based coalitions carried early childhood messages and materials to parents and practitioners in local communities.