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Supporting young children exposed to potentially traumatic events: Implications for early care and education policy

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Decades of scientific research clearly demonstrate the pervasive negative consequences of trauma exposure on young children’s neurocognitive, psychosocial, and physical development, with adverse effects extending into adulthood. In addition, early childhood trauma is now widely recognized as a significant public health concern warranting comprehensive intervention. Federal, state, and private early care and education (ECE) programs serve a large number of the 0 to 5 population and can mitigate the harmful consequences of trauma exposure for children’s health and well-being. The literature on early childhood trauma should guide the creation of policies that strengthen ECE, enabling the delivery of high-quality, equitable, trauma-informed care to young children prior to formal school entry. (author abstract)

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