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.

Chaos Theory

Nov 25, 2015

Chaotic homes can negatively affect children’s academic achievement, attention spans, and be an indicator for social and behavioral problems.


Nov 21, 2015

Thanksgiving is nearly here. We are thankful for all that has been accomplished on behalf very young children and their families. As well as all that is to come. What are you thankful for?

Sleep Well!

Nov 11, 2015

Keeping regular sleep patterns are important for a young child's development. Listen for some findings from SLEEP 2015, an annual gathering of Professional Sleep Societies.

It's a's a's Resilient Parent! This superhero may not fly or leap tall buildings, but she can save your child's future. What's her true identity? It's you!

Learn more by visiting

Dude! You've changed.

This is an all too familiar sentiment that many new dads hear from their friends. Well, new research shows that dads do change. And for the better.

The cost of child care in America has been on the rise since 2010. In Maryland, child care is almost always the second or third largest household expense for families. It's an investment worth the money.

Visit for more information.

Twenty million American's live in deep poverty. For a single parent raising one child, that translates to a gross family income of less than $7,600 dollars a year. That's pretty deep.

Visit to learn more.

Sharing is hard. Look at the difficulty some adults us have relinquishing the TV remote!  And we're often pained to lend a friend a favorite book or let our partner use our car. So it's no wonder that sharing doesn't come easily to children.

  A childs temperament describes how she approaches and reacts to the world. It’s her personal "style." Understanding your child's temperament can make you a better parent.

Adults can be quick to judge people.  We form our opinions based on not only what people say, but also how they say it.  Now researchers at the University of Toronto suggest that very young children make similar snap judgments about people based on tone of voice alone.

Learn more at

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.