“Neuroscientific advances demonstrate that the age range from zero to five years old represents a critical window for both learning and teaching, which must involve the development of emotional competence and the growth of self-regulation as a foundation for long-term academic, personal, and social success, promoting mental health and well-being. Recent findings suggest that these capacities emerge from the co-regulation of empathic social and emotional interactions between a caregiver and young child.”


So begins the article The importance of emotional competence and self-regulation from birth: a case for the evidence-based emotional cognitive social early learning approach just published by the highly regarded International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy and written by the Housman Institute Founder and CEO, Dr. Donna Housman. The Housman Institute is an early childhood teacher training, advocacy, and research organization.


Dr. Housman, a clinical psychologist, is a leader in the field of early childhood education and child psychology. She has over thirty years’ experience in the field, and her work at the Housman Institute’s lab school, the Beginnings School and Child Development Center, exemplifies her expertise and intuition. The core philosophy at Beginnings focuses on developing the building blocks of emotional intelligence by promoting self-regulation and emotional competence in children, aged 3 months and 6 years.


Policymakers, researchers, practitioners, and other international leaders are among the readers of the peer-reviewed International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. Their published articles focus on the major issues of child care and education policy. Dr. Housman’s most recent article highlights the imperative role that emotional competence and self-regulation play in children’s development, mental health, well-being and success. The article also points to the growing international consensus on the importance of promoting these competencies in early childhood, when social and emotional experiences play a critical role in the growth of the brain’s architecture.


Dr. Housman’s work comes at a time when the need for quality early childhood care is on the rise globally, as is the awareness of the value of that quality early childhood care brings, as documented by the pioneering work of noted economist and Nobel Memorial Prize winner James J. Heckman at the University of Chicago and many others. The associated future research and policy implications are evident.


The Housman Institute is delighted that quality early childhood education and policy are getting the attention it deserves. Our CEO and founder, Dr. Housman, is tirelessly advocating for evidence-based early childhood education to actively promote the growth of emotional, cognitive and social competencies in young children.