Early and Middle Childhood Workgroup

Objective Status

  • 0 Target met or exceeded
  • 0 Improving
  • 2 Little or no detectable change
  • 2 Getting worse
  • 0 Baseline only
  • 7 Developmental
  • 1 Research

Learn more about objective types

Early and Middle Childhood Workgroup Objectives (12)

About the Workgroup

Approach and Rationale

We know that experiences in early childhood (usually defined as birth to 8 years) and middle childhood (usually defined as ages 6 to 12 years) are extremely important for a child’s healthy development and lifelong health and well-being.1 How young children play, learn, grow, and form relationships during early and middle childhood influences school readiness and success later in life.2,3,4,5 Research on physical and mental health in adults shows that having good health over the lifetime starts with healthy development in early and middle childhood.3,6

Supporting children’s development and preventing risks in early and middle childhood can have lasting benefits.6,7 For healthy development, children need:

  • Knowledgeable and nurturing parents, families, and caregivers
  • Supportive and safe environments in home, schools, and communities
  • Access to high-quality care and education

The objectives selected by the EMC Workgroup include those that track overall healthy development and key factors that help children learn and grow, like positive communication with parents or having parents read to them. Developmental and research objectives include tracking developmental readiness for school and high-quality early childhood education. The EMC objectives also cover topics related to healthy child development not yet covered by other workgroups — like childhood sleep and prevention of childhood mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders.



Education Encyclopedia. (n.d.) Stages of Growth in Child Development. Retrieved from: http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1826/Child-Development-Stages-Growth.html#ixzz0j0jMHgRB


Halfon, N. (2009). Life Course Health Development: A New Approach for Addressing Upstream Determinants of Health and Spending. [PDF file]. Retrieved from: http://www.nihcm.org/pdf/ExpertVoices_Halfon_FINAL.pdf


Shonkoff, J.P., Boyce, W.T., McEwen, B.S. (June 2009). Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, and the Childhood Roots of Health Disparities. JAMA, 301(21), 2252-2259. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.754 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19491187


Liew, J. (July 2012). Effortful Control, Executive Functions, and Education: Bringing Self‐Regulatory and Social‐Emotional Competencies to the Table. Child Development Perspectives, 6(2), 105-111. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-8606.2011.00196.x


Yogman, M., et al. (Sept. 2018). The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children. Pediatrics, 142(3). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-2058


Moffitt, T.E., et al. (Feb. 2011). A Gradient of Childhood Self-Control Predicts Health, Wealth, and Public Safety. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(7), 2693-2698. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1010076108


The National Academies. (March 2009). Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.nap.edu/resource/12480/Preventing-Mental-Emotional-and-Behavioral-Disorders-2009--Report-Brief-for-Researchers.pdf