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.

Too Many Tantrums

Dec 2, 2020

Tantrums are a normal part of a toddler's development. But you can help your child learn skills now that will help them cope well with all the disappointment and frustration that will come thier way. 

Music Soothes the Infant Soul

Nov 25, 2020

Where does our love of music begin? Experts believe it is in the first five years. (Photo by iStock/RyanJLane) 

Sometime it Hurts to Be a Baby

Nov 18, 2020

For an infant, going to the doctor can be a pain but it doesn't have to hurt. (Photo by iStock/lisegagne)

A Labor of Love

Nov 11, 2020

When will we invest in the most important labor thier is -- parenting?

 (Photo credit: iStock/Martin Prescott)

The Sands of Time

Nov 3, 2020


  For over 10,000 years parents have been carrying on when times are tough. Let's look to them for encouragement during these difficult days.  (Photo credit: iStock/kali9)


  Halloween will look pretty different this year. But Halloween during COVID can still be fun while also being safe. (Photo credit: iStock/svetikd)


  Building Better Beginnings harnesses the knowledge, talent, and ideas of state and local early childhood agencies and organizations to ensure that every child has an equal path to success. Join us. 

Alcohol and Pregnancy

Oct 13, 2020

We know heavy alcohol use while pregnant can cause harm to babies. But women can get mixed messages about whether there's a safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Find out more.  

Banking Time

Oct 7, 2020

Taking time to be fully present with your child, even for a little while, helps you both reconnect and gives you a well of strength to draw from when life gets hard. 

(Photo by iStock/monkeybusinessimages)  

Childhood Hunger

Sep 29, 2020

The number of food insecure kids in America has grown significantly since COVID-19. But by investing in early childhood we can provide nutrition for the brain and for the body. (Photo by iStock/SDI Productions)

Parental Revolution

Sep 22, 2020

We're starting a parental revolution. Are you in? 

Baby Black Lives Matter

Sep 15, 2020

Black lives matter. Yet from the moment children of color enter the world, the disparity between races is evident. New research from George Mason University found that black newborn babies in the United States are three times more likely than white babies to die when cared for by white doctors. Likewise, they’re more likely to survive childbirth if cared for by Black physicians. (Photo by iStock/Mongkolchon Akesin)

Playground Safety

Sep 8, 2020

When choosing child care, it is just as important to look outside the building as it is to look inside. We offer some times on playground safety to help you make the best and safest choice for your child. (Photo credit: iStock/sturti)

Childhood Adversity Shortens Lives

Sep 2, 2020

According to a new Danish study, adverse childhood experiences can significantly shorten a person's life expectancy. The good news is by investing in programs for young children, we can save those lives. (Photo by iStock/cokada)

The Eyes Have It

Aug 25, 2020

Why do babies stare? It's because they are scientists who are researching and learning from faces. (Photo by iStock/AJ_Watt)

Covid Forces A Choice

Aug 19, 2020

What would you do if your child contracted COVID-19? You’d probably call your doctor, quarantine your family, and do everything you could to keep them well and prevent the virus from spreading. ​But what if you lived pay check to pay check? You would have to make some very difficult choices. (Photo: iStock/ti-ja)

Accolades Don't Pay The Bills

Aug 10, 2020

What happens when a child exposes others to COVID-19 at child care? Even if the child care provider does everything right, it could still force them out of business. We must save child care. (Phot credit iStock/Yobro10).

Imagine Being a Baby

Aug 8, 2020

Imagine you’re a baby. You love being with mom and dad but there is so much more to learn. You’re excited about child care! But what if child care isn’t there? (Photo by iStock/ruizluquepaz)  


If you’ve been crazily working from home with your pre-schooler, and are now ready to send them back to child care, you may not want to hear this: you’re not done. The University of Arizona says parental involvement in your little one’s child care experience, is a major indicator of whether that child arrives at Kindergarten ready to learn. 

An ever growing number of early childhood experts are urging Congress to invest at least $50 billion in the next, and perhaps final, COVID-19 emergency funding bill. The Child Care is Essential Act could save child care and get America back to work. 


Jul 15, 2020

Over 60% of Americans have one or more adverse childhood experience or ACE, which are linked to chronic mental and physical health problems, substance misuse, and underemployment in adulthood. We can change this by investing in our children. Learn how.            


Jul 2, 2020

COVID-19 has disrupted all of our routines. That includes young children for whom this interruption could negatively impact their behavior. So how do you know if a change you see is just growing pains or something more? Listen now and find out. 

Benevolent Sexism

Jul 2, 2020

“Benevolent sexism” can start early and persist throughout life. Talking to your kids about perpetuating stereotypes early can break this cycle. Listen now to learn more.  

 COVID-19 is making many parents scared to take their children places. But this aversion is having unintended and life threatening implications – few immunizations. Listen now to find out more.

Sleep Disparity

Feb 25, 2020

There’s a lot more to sleep than meets the eye. Ethnicity and socioeconomic factors play into the quality and amount of sleep that young children get. Listen now to learn more.

I See You

Feb 20, 2020

Do you see your child? Truly see them? Being present and observing our children with real curiosity helps parents to better know who our kids really are.

Maternal Depression And Parental Leave

Feb 5, 2020

The thought of returning to work after giving birth can trigger feelings of depression. After all, who wants to get back to the grind when you’ve got a newborn at home who wants nothing more than your love and attention? Mounting research continues to find connections between maternal depressive symptoms and the length of maternity leave.

Sage Advice

Jan 15, 2020

The Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education has made bold recommendations to improve Maryland’s public education system. Maryland Family Network knows that investing in young children offers a significant return on investment. Baltimore’s own Sage Policy Group agrees. Listen now to learn more.


Over the last twenty years the opioid epidemic has exploded across America. From 1999 to 2013, the number of women in the U.S. with an opioid use disorder while giving birth has quadrupled. How we address this crisis affects everyone.


What’s the deal with hiccups? According to a new study, it just might be babies practicing their breathing. Listen now to learn more.