Early childhood education is at an exciting juncture. As I write this blog, recognition is growing of the importance of laying the foundation for emotional intelligence, or what the academic world often refers to as emotional competence in young children. In fact, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recently released a new pilot measure for 5-year-olds called the “Baby PISA” that will be used to measure self-regulation and empathy, both considered foundational to emotional intelligence. The Baby PISA is an early childhood version of the PISA, a long-utilized tool that evaluates fifteen-year-olds internationally on literacy and mathematics.

The release of Baby PISA demonstrates an increased global awareness that skills beyond those that are purely academic have an impact on our children’s healthy development and success. Here at the Housman Institute, I find this news incredibly exciting. To my knowledge, this evidence-based program is the only one that shows significant improvement in young children in empathy and self-regulation. Not only do I see these improvements when analyzing our data, but I see it in the children themselves.I’m excited to be part of a research team that is continually evaluating the impact of our unique program and seeing the effect it has on the children who benefit.

Amanda Derby is Clinical Research Coordinator at Housman Institute