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.

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.

Congratulations! You child is ready to graduate to a "big kid" bed. But are you ready? Listen for information that will help the transition to toddler bed go smoothly.

Robin Parker is single mom living in Anne Arundel County. When her children were one- and two-years-old she found herself in a difficult spot.  Affordable safe quality child care was out of reach for the struggling family.

  Self-control can be hard.  New ways of dieting, exercising and saving money are seem to always be in the news. But a recent study demonstrates that adults who learn self-control as very young children grow up healthier and with few financial problems.

  Babies love to nap and they love to learn. All that sleep just might be making them better learners. Listen now and find out why.

Double the Love

Jan 21, 2015

  Having twins (or more) can be double the fun.  From time to time it can also be doubly overwhelming. Fortunately help is out there from experts and other parents of multiples.  Listen now to learn more.

Whether it’s baby’s first tooth or an older child with all 32, there’s nothing like a little one’s healthy smile. Protecting that grin starts early. Find out when to start and how to make the first dentist visit go well.

  A language rich environment gives children the foundation to arrive at school ready to learn. But parents aren’t the only ones who can have a major impact on school readiness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost one-third of American young children are overweight.  In fact, one in five between the ages of two and five are already overweight or obese.  What can parents do to reverse this trend?

To Santa or not to Santa?  Some parents struggle with whether to make Santa Claus a part of their holiday tradition.  Is it lying to the child?

When you’re a toddler the world revolves around you. The arrival of a new little brother or sister is exciting for grown-ups.  But for the first born it can be stressful and scary.

Learning the value of money and how to make it last should start young. In fact, financial literacy can be begin with babies.

  The holidays can be full of stress. But with a little planning and teamwork, Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time for all ages to reflect on all that is good in our lives.

Will your little one grow up to be the next Joan Rivers or Steve Martin?  Maybe not.  But even so, the ability to chuckle, giggle, and laugh helps to reduce stress, build connections and encourage creative thinking.

Maryland Family Network

Bullying can start in the early years—even before school. Young children might call names, act out physically, or intimate others. Listen to learn tips aimed at helping parents and caregivers prevent bullying early and to keep it from escalating. 

Maryland Family Network

For more than two decades, experts have recognized the importance of early exposure to a language-rich environment.  By age three, children from low-income families hear far fewer words than their more affluent peers-- nearly 30 million fewer words. This disparity puts poorer children at a huge disadvantage when starting school. But a Temple University study suggests that exposing low- income children to more language isn’t enough to overcome this difference.

Maryland Family Network

What does it take for parents to build a secure attachment with their child? Find out this week as we welcome Dr. Marti Erickson as guest host of The First Five Years. 

Maryland Family Network

If you could change the lives of millions of children and families for the better, in a matter of just minutes, would you do it? Listen to find out what it takes.

Maryland Family Network

New research about from Northwestern University will be music to your ears. They found that after two years of musical training, the brain function of at-risk children improved significantly. What’s more, this research could hold the key to reducing the achievement gap. Listen now to learn more.

Maryland Family Network

Just under half of the children in the United States have lived through at least one traumatic experience. These experiences have lasting effects on health, social, and economic outcomes in adulthood. But there is hope. Listen to find out how you can help.

Maryland Family Network

Nightmares can be triggered by a number of things. It’s important to take the time to listen and comfort your child as she experiences this important but sometimes scary milestone.     

Maryland Family Network


Anxiety is a normal part of life, even for young children. It’s especially common when children are separated from parents for the first time. But for some children the symptoms continue and may get worse. Find out what you need to know to make sure your child’s anxiety isn’t interfering with her development and happiness. 

Maryland Family Network

Are you ready for kindergarten? It won’t be long until your preschooler is ready to start kindergarten. This can be challenging for both children and parents. Start planning now to help make the transition a smooth one.

Maryland Family Network

Are you raising a social child? Parents want to help children grow up to feel confident and secure. But the markers of social competency in young children can be hard to spot. But there are signs to look for. Listen now to find out more.

Maryland Family Network

Ever wish you could take a break from the routine? Well, for very young children routines build a sense of security and self-confidence. They may also help children do better in school and be more successful adults.

Maryland Family Network

Maryland Family Network

Reliable child care is just a phone call away. Take the time to make the right choice—the first five years last forever. 

Early childhood development occurs rapidly, so choosing a reliable care provider is critically important. LOCATE: Child Care, a FREE phone referral service of Maryland Family Network, can help you make the right choice.