Imagine a world where every child develops into a productive, healthy and happy adult. We all want the best for our kids–to ensure they have what they need to lead successful, healthy lives. Studies show that kids’ social-emotional development (SED) between the ages of 0 to 5 can have a huge impact on their future. So much of SED’s immediate and long term impact boils down to how children interact with others, how they feel about themselves and, ultimately, how they express themselves. expressYOU is about building a community and supporting all of the incredible primary caregivers out there, who, as their children’s first teachers and role models, are the key influence when it comes to unlocking their kids’ amazing potential. Get resources, share your stories, join the conversation—parents, this one’s for you!

TAKE ACTION: Support Quality Child Care for ALL Families!

Children who develop strong social-emotional skills between the ages of 0 to 5 are more likely to live healthier, successful lives as adults. Providing a safe, nurturing environment that enriches children’s development is critical to working families and is one of the best investments we can make in our economy. Yet, quality child care is highly cost prohibitive, with a year of child care costing more than a year of in-state tuition at most colleges.

Child Care Aware® of America and Hope Street Group are partnering to create a platform for you to reach out to your representative. Make your voice heard by letting your Congress member know that you support the prioritization of access to quality, affordable child care for all families.


Parents, Caregivers, Experts: Share your questions, stories and advice on SED for kids ages 0-5! Use #expressYOU to join and follow the conversation.


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Starting from birth, children are learning at a remarkably fast pace. They are learning more quickly between the ages of 0 and 5 than at any other time in life. That is A LOT of brainpower. During this time, they aren’t just learning their ABCs and 123s: they are also building emotional and social skills. Those skills developed in early childhood help us:

  • Recognize and control our emotions
  • Show concern for others, create positive relationships
  • Make responsible decisions
  • And handle challenging situations.

“Helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future.” – Kristin Schubert, Managing Director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Our SED can have a large impact as we get older. Young children with developed social-emotional skills are more likely to live healthier, successful lives as adults. A recent study discovered that, for every one-point increase in a child’s social-emotional score, they were:

  • Twice as likely to attain a college degree in early adulthood;
  • 54% more likely to earn a high school diploma; and
  • 46% more likely to have a full-time job at the age of 25.

Those skills are forming most rapidly in early childhood and carry us through life, largely affecting our education, health and economic opportunity.


Primary caregivers — whether parent, grandparent, legal guardian — are the center of a young child’s world. They provide them with affection, security and are their ultimate teachers. In short, you are your child’s #1.

Comforting, singing and talking to your child is huge when it comes to children feeling safe and learning how to express their love and affection to others. Showing interest in their activities can build their self-assurance and independence. Helping them to label and showing respect for their feelings can help them manage their emotions. Providing safety while encouraging exploration can instill them with the confidence to try new things.

Interaction, encouragement and interest from a parent can help give their children social and emotional tools that will support them throughout their lives.

“In the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are formed every second…These are the connections that build brain architecture—the foundation upon which all later learning, behavior and health depend.” — Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University


A DEEPER LOOK: Explore The Research & Findings on SED


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