Master Class

Leveraging Advances in Science to Strengthen the Early Foundations of Both Learning and Health

Register here

When: Thursday, December 10th│15:00 - 17:00  CET                                        

We know that responsive relationships and language-rich experiences for young children help build a strong foundation for later success in school. The rapidly advancing frontiers of 21st-century biological sciences now provide compelling evidence that the foundations of lifelong health are also built early, with increasing evidence of the importance of the prenatal period and first few years after birth.

This session will explore key themes from the most recent Working Paper issued by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child through the Harvard Center on the Developing Child "Connecting the Brain to the Rest of the Body: Early Childhood Development and Lifelong Health Are Deeply Intertwined," including how developing biological systems in the body interact with each other and adapt to the contexts in which a child is developing -- for better or for worse -- with lifelong consequences for physical and mental health.

There will be an opportunity for interactive discussions to think about how policymakers, leaders of programs and services for young children and community members can move beyond just early learning and find ways that early childhood programs and policies can also reduce disparities in preventable disease and premature death and lower costs for treating chronic illnesses that have their roots in early childhood adversity.


Main presenters:

Al Race
Al Race is Deputy Director and Chief Knowledge Officer at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. His focus is on how to use the knowledge generated by the Center’s work, internally and externally, in order to transform the landscape in which science-based innovation for children and families facing adversity can thrive and grow.



James Cairns
James Cairns is Senior Director for Strategic Engagements and Organizational Learning. He leads Center-wide efforts focused on understanding the early childhood ecosystem and the Center’s role in it, including developing strategic collaborations and partnerships and leading efforts to understand and measure the impact of our work. He also continues to provide strategic guidance to the Center’s international portfolio and partnerships.




Lieve de Bosscher (Belgium) – Director of the Child Care Unit in the Municipality of Ghent
Carmen Lica (Romania) – Director of the Step by Step Center for Education and Professional Development
Giorgio Tamburlini (Italy) – President of the Center for Child Health and Development

Host: Harvard Center for the Developing Child, USA

Register ISSA Connects Week sessions.

Back to the ISSA Week page.