The First Five Years | WYPR

The First Five Years

Wednesdays at 4:32 pm
  • Hosted by Hosted by: Linnea Anderson

"The First Five Years" is a weekly program presented by Maryland Family Network.  The series is focused on the extraordinary developmental period from birth to age five. "The First Five Years" highlights the challenges and opportunities related to nurturing young children and helping them build a solid foundation for success in school and in life.

“The First Five Years” is made possible with major support from the M&T Charitable Foundation. 

You can listen to an archive of past episodes of "The First Five Years" here.

A hands-on approach is a great way for young children to develop a lifelong love of science. Learn more at

When was the last time you had a conversation with a baby? It should be as often as possible. Responding to her coos and babbles just might be the key that shifts language development into high gear.

Human touch comforts, stimulates, and conveys emotions. But when does our need to be touched begin? What are the effects of touch on babies?

You tried working things out.  But it's over.  Now you must break the news.  Explaining divorce or separation to a young child is hard.  Finding the age appropriate words and actions is important.  We have some tips to help ease the pain.

When reading a bedtime story to a child, have you ever wondered what he or she is thinking about? Well, researchers say they have more evidence that reading to young children has an impact on their developing minds. Listen now and then visit for more information.

Wouldn't it be splendid if Mary Poppins appeared one day with all her magic to babysit for your children? In real the world, finding the right babysitter can be a source of anxiety.

Is your baby conducting experiments? Well, if she drops peas from her high chair or loves to toss baby food across the room, than you have a little scientist. Visit for more information.

Did you know there is a connection between diapers and depression? Listen to find out why. Then visit for more early childhood information.

Just how important are the first years of life? Well researchers have found further evidence that the type of emotional support a child receives as a baby and toddler, can shape educational outcomes and relationships as an adult.

Building blocks are a great toy. They encourage spatial skills and creativity. But researchers think they may do much more than that.

Distracted driving gets a lot of press. But what about distracted parenting? Learn what the impact can be on young children when mom or dad are distracted by smart phones, tablets and computers.

Meet Mr. Trufflepants-our imaginary friend.  A child's pretend friends can be a very healthy part of development and even help prepare her for success later in life. Visit for more information.

The Director of Columbia University’s Center for Toddler Development recently shared her Five Principles for Parenting with The Washington Post. Visit  Maryland Family Network for more information.

  Many families have a plan in case of a fire at home. But is your child care provider as ready as you are? Learn the right questions to ask to make sure.

We’ve all heard this chant. But when does lying begin? And how do we teach children to not tell fibs?  Visit Maryland Family Network for more resources.

Lots of parents want to instill in their children the values of hard work and teamwork.  At home, the opportunity to practice this often involves chores that children- even little kids- can help with.  But choosing the right chores, and the right messages, matters.

Head Start just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Over 31 million children have benefitted from Head Start and Early Head Star to become business and community leaders, teachers, Members of Congress, athletes, Grammy-winning musicians, poets, and parents.

Secondhand smoke can lead to multiple health complications.  Adults have the option walk away from smoke but children don't always have that choice.  Learn more about the risks to children who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

One in five children in the U.S. has unsafe levels of lead in his blood stream.  Even small amounts of lead can cause serious problems for children.  Know what to look for and how to avoid lead poisoning.  More information.

You may not get a paycheck, but if you’re a volunteer you’ve got a very important job. Especially if it involves helping young children learn how to read.

Your involvement can be the difference between a child who grows up and tunes in to success...or tunes out. Learn more .

Developmental psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner said children need "The enduring, irrational involvement of one or more adults in care of and in joint activity with that child. In short, somebody has to be crazy about that kid."

Discipline means "to teach." By using positive discipline we help our children avoid negative behaviors.

What we mean when we say "family" has changed dramatically over the years. But despite these changes, what matters most has stayed the same—love.

Spring has sprung so head outside with your little learner! Children are born ready to explore and the great outdoors is full of opportunities for them to engage all five senses in new and wonderful ways. Learn more at Maryland Family Network.

When it comes to favoritism among children, perception matters most.

The demand for child care to accommodate children with special needs is substantial. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say one in 68 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder each year. Thankfully, Maryland Family Network's LOCATE: Child Care is here to help.

Children find a mother’s voice comforting.  And now researchers Harvard Medical School think it might have healing powers too.

One the most influential teachers a child may ever have is in an early care and education setting. Yet the pay for child care professionals is often close to the same wage as fast food workers. This has been the case for far too long and a change is due.

Children enrolled in state-supported pre-Kindergarten programs are less likely to be placed in special education according to a new study by Duke University.