Our Approach

Neuroscientific advances demonstrate that the ages zero to five-years-old represent a critical window for learning and teaching the building blocks of emotional intelligence—namely emotional competence, self-regulation, and associated prosocial and cognitive skills such as empathy and perseverance.

Housman Institute’s begin to... ECSEL™ (Emotional Cognitive Social Early Learning) approach is steeped in this knowledge, leveraging trained caregivers to support the growth of these core competencies and their associated skills in young children. Our results-driven approach has been shown to significantly improve these competencies that studies show to be critical to young children’s development, school readiness and lifelong well-being and success.

"It's amazing what I've learned in teaching this approach. In just a year, I've seen the two and three year olds I teach make remarkable improvements in their social skills in managing their emotions, and in being more sensitive to others. And they're much better learners because of it."

— Emily, Early Childhood Educator


Our approach understands the connection between social and emotional learning and cognition. Foundational to young children's development are the interactions and experiences between young children and caregivers. To that end, we train caregivers through a caregiver-as-socializer model predicated on research that shows that teaching and learning are an outgrowth of human interaction—most significantly in the early years—and that regulation is deeply embedded in a young child’s relation with a caregiver. This secure attachment relationship has been shown to be key to the child’s optimal long-term social, emotional and cognitive development, as well as to the child’s ability to manage stress. In our program, caregivers not only work to strengthen this relationship but also learn to leverage current emotional situations as an opportunity to teach the child more appropriate emotion regulation strategies and to support the growth of children’s social and cognitive capabilities. Through direction, modeling, and guidance, the caregiver helps the child develop self-control.