The Beginning of Life
In June 2016, a groundbreaking feature documentary 'The Beginning of Life' was released worldwide and can be streamed or downloaded from various services e.g. Netflix, iTunes, etc.
This beautiful film, supported by UNICEF, explores the impact of a child’s early environment on their cognitive, social and emotional development. The 90-minute feature documentary was created in response to advancements in neuroscience that uncover the crucial role that the early years of children’s lives play in determining their futures successes. It is dubbed in six languages and subtitled in 21 languages.
Filmed across Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Italy, Kenya and the United States, The Beginning of Life documents the early lives of children and their families; and features interviews with specialists from the early childhood development arena.
“Effective early childhood development takes place when children feel nurtured, cared for, protected and loved. When children receive all of these key elements in their formative years of life, they have the best possible chance of developing fully. This film depicts how social environments are as important as genetics in influencing children’s development. The evidence should compel governments and policy-makers to act now and prioritize investment in the earliest years of children’s lives – from parenting to care and early learning programmes for all children” UNICEF Chief of Early Childhood Development Pia Britto said.
The families starred in the film are from a range of cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds. Maternity leave, the role of fathers, co-parenting, poverty, child rights, violence and neglect are explored throughout the film, providing a unique basis and understanding of early childhood development.
You may want to organise a public screening or use various clips (2-5 mins) from the film in your parent group or a small group.
The 2 min trailer is as follows:
Short clips (click on subtitles button for each clip) are as follows:
When Learning Begins
Socio-affective capacities (Nine month old babies can learn a new language's sounds by playing with a native speaker - but not by watching one on television.)
Not Blank Slates
Neuroplasticity (The brain's ability to change with experience).
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