New Series for ThinkND Explores the Critical Nature of the First 1,000 Days of a Child's Life

December 13th, 2023Why is getting it right in the first 1,000 days of life critical for individuals, communities, and nations, and what does the science tell us?

Neil Boothby, the founding director of the Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child (GC-DWC), answers these questions in a discussion for Raising Resilient Children, a new podcast series for ThinkND. The series features conversations between Boothby and Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC, the director of pastoral life for the Alliance of Catholic Education (ACE), and Dr. Carrie Quinn, the executive director of the Mount Sinai Parenting Center. Together, they explore the science of early childhood development and how human relationships, nutrition, and environments in the first 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday shapes the child's future outcomes, as well as how parents, health professionals, and the Catholic Church can do the same. 

“The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are a time of tremendous potential and enormous vulnerability,” Boothby said. “More than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second in a young child’s brain. Healthy social, emotional, and cognitive development during this critical period provides the building blocks for educational achievement, positive relationships, economic productivity, and lifelong health and well-being.”

Raising Resilient Children

The first session of Raising Resilient Children features Boothby and Quinn and offers insights from the fields of neuroscience, biology, and developmental psychology into why the first 1,000 days of life is the optimal time to invest in human development. The discussion is framed around three key early childhood development concepts: the impact of early experiences on brain development, the importance of responsive relationships for healthy development, and the disruptive effects of toxic stress on the developing brain and early learning.

“We hope listeners will find their experience with Raising Resilient Children to be insightful and engaging, and that they will stay connected not only to us at the Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child, but to the global learning community on ThinkND,” Boothby said.

To register for the series and to learn more, please visit: