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Past Event

Three trimesters to three years: Promoting early development

A Princeton-Brookings Future of Children event

Past Event

The period from pregnancy through age three is the one in which the most rapid growth of the brain and behavior occurs. Yet most researchers and policymakers have treated the nine months of development during pregnancy separately from the first three years of life. Prenatal experiences are part and parcel of the postnatal experience of mothers and their babies; the postnatal period is sometimes referred to as the fourth trimester, a way to highlight the fact that after a child’s birth, mothers themselves need continued services and screening. Children’s wellbeing very much depends on their mothers’ health and wellbeing.

On January 14, Princeton University and the Brookings Institution highlighted the release of the latest issue of “Future of Children,” entitled “Three Trimesters to Three Years: Promoting Early Development,” which highlights continuity in development, the continuing intersection of mother and baby, and the rapid growth that occurs from conception to three years of age. The event also covered the issue’s accompanying policy brief, “Balancing Family and Work During a Child’s First Years,” which proposes a set of enhanced policies to better support families and improve young children’s long-term health and wellbeing. The webinar featured a presentation from the issue’s editors and panel discussion among experts on several topics covered in the issue, including family income and child nutrition.

Viewers submitted questions by via email to or via Twitter with #FutureofChildren.


Reflections on “Future of Children”

Janet Currie

Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs Director of the Center for Health and Well-Being - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Overview of volume

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education, Teachers College and College of Physicians and Surgeons - Columbia University

Anna Aizer

Professor of Economics - Brown University

Panel discussion

Christopher Wimer

Co-Director - Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University

Timothy Smeeding

Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics - University of Wisconsin-Madison

Robert Doar

President and Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies - American Enterprise Institute

Diane Schanzenbach

Director, Institute for Policy Research; Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Human Development and Social Policy - Northwestern University

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