Watch and share clips from the documentary ‘The Beginning of Life’

Published May 17, 2018

Watch and share short clips from the documentary ‘The Beginning of Life’, which shines a light on the importance of the early years by documenting the lives of young children and their families across the world – interspersed with clips from early childhood development experts explaining key issues.

Below you can find a selection of short clips, explaining the importance of the early years of a child’s life by zooming in on different subjects, like the importance of parent-child interactions (serve and return principle), the importance of a father being present in a child’s life and the fact that a child’s developing brain brings both opportunities and risks. The full list of short clips can be found here.

The full version of The Beginning of Life, which was produced with the support of Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal Foundation, Alana Institute, Unicef and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, is available on various global video-on-demand platforms including Netflix and iTunes.

A few highlights

Babies learn more in their first three years than they will ever learn again – but their healthy brain development depends on having a secure, stable, loving set of caregivers. This is a six-minute summary of the full Beginning of Life documentary especially created for the Bernard van Leer Foundation. It touches on the topics of brain development, the case for investing in the early years, learning from birth (or even before), the importance of caregivers in a child’s life, the influence of both positive and negative experiences on a child’s development, nurturing care and healthy nutrition, and why parents need society’s support:

You are the most important thing in your child’s life – not their toys, or their physical environment. This clip from the documentary ‘The Beginning of Life’ explains why the most important things you can give your child – talking, cuddling and playing – are completely free:

Babies’ brains are the most plastic in the world – which can be either good or bad. While nurturing care helps the brain to develop healthily, constant exposure to scary situations can close down a child’s capacity to enjoy life:

“I want to be a good dad”; “I want to present in his life for everything”. In this clip from The Beginning of Life, fathers explore their role and experts explain why it is not only a matter of helping the mother, but helping the child.

When we invest in early childhood, we invest in society as a whole. But what do families need from public policy makers? In this clip from the documentary The Beginning of Life, world-leading experts summarise the economics and science of investing in young children.