Defining Whole Child Development

Research File

Evidence from across disciplines—from neuroscience to biological and developmental science to economic science—has clearly demonstrated that investing in children’s holistic well-being is a proven pathway out of adversity. Whole child development, and its multiplier effect, is one of the smartest, most cost-effective investments we can make to ensure the health and prosperity of not only individual children and their families, but also of entire communities and societies.

This guide describes what is meant by the term 'whole child development' and why it's needed to address child development and learning for children growing up in adversity.