The First Five Years

The First Five Years on WYPR

The First 5 Years Banner
The First Five Years
is a weekly radio program presented by Maryland Family Network and airing on WYPR 88.1 FM. 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.


cute 4 months old baby making a funny surprised face

Strong Foundations

Here is some news that will expand your mind. For years it was thought that a newborn’s brain makes 700 to 1,000 new neural connections per second. It’s actually more. A lot more.

New Research Shows Significantly More Neural Connections Formed During Early Years than Previously Thought (First Five Years Fund)


portrait of blonde caucasian baby nineteen month age with pigtails chubby face yellow shirt looking at dollar banknote on brown table

The Price of Doing Nothing

The price of high-quality child care is through the roof. But what is the price of not helping our children get a strong start?

The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program (Heckman Equation)
Child Care Subsidy Program (Maryland Family Network)
MFN Written Testimony (Includes testimony regarding Child Care Subsidy) (Maryland Family Network)


African-American toddler girl with ponytail and hair beads

46 Years of Progress

Where do you see your child in 10 years? 25 years? How about 50 years from now? If they have access to quality early care and education, parents may be a little closer to being able to predict a child’s future.

Strong Early Education Equals Better Long-term Relationships with Parents, Research Shows (Science Daily)
The Carolina Abecedarian Project


caring muslim mother kissing baby boy while he is asleep

Sleep Tight

Getting enough sleep is even more important to a child’s development than you might think. Rest assured getting that sleep is possible. Find out more.

Sleep in early childhood may lead to cognitive, behavioral problems in later years (Science Daily)
Children and Sleep (National Sleep Foundation)


mother feeding baby girl, baby opens mouth wide

Food Insecurity

Food insecurity touches one in six children in our nation. It’s a problem that will affect them into adulthood.

Child Food Insecurity in Maryland (Feeding America)
Maryland WIC
Child and Adult Care Food Program (USDA)
Kids Who Suffer Hunger in First Years Lag Behind Their Peers in School (NPR)


Infant wearing Dad's glasses

Building Baby’s Brains

Did you ever cram for an exam? It was probably not a successful way to learn. But babies are learning incredible amounts very quickly. Find out how!

Talking is teaching: 5 creative ways to help your baby learn today (Mother.ly)
Learning, Play, and Your Newborn (KidsHealth.org)


Anti-Bias Education - the key to a healthy relationship

Anti-Bias Education

Anti-bias education builds self-awareness and confidence in young children. It teaches them to celebrate the differences that make our country great.

Anti-Bias Education (NAEYC)


Building Blocks to Success - child playing with blocks

Coding Babies for Success

Babies and toddlers don’t need fancy electronics to become STEM experts. They need the time and dedication of parents and educators.

The T in STEM: Creating Play-Based Experiments That Support Children’s Learning of Coding and Higher Order Thinking (NAEYC)


Alternative Facts - Little girl Shhhh!

Alternative Facts

Lies, fibs, tall tales, or shall we say “alternative facts.” Whatever you want to call them, it’s a natural part of a child’s development to experiment with the truth. But they need you to guide them.

When Young Children Lie (Zero to Three)


Baby Boxes - a baby in a box

Baby Box

Boxes are the latest trend. You can subscribe to have a box deliver your meals. There’s one with razors and organic shaving cream. And one with new desserts to try. Now, there’s a box that saves baby’s lives.

NJ Becomes the First State to Send New Parents Home with Baby Boxes (Philly Voice)
Why Finnish Babies Sleep in Cardboard Boxes (BBC)


I heart family support centers - smiling little girl

One Year Can Change a Life

What if just one year could change your life? It can. If it happens at an early age.

One Year of High-Quality Early Education Improves Outcomes for Low-Income Infants, Toddlers (Science Daily)


Smiling little boy bundled up in from of Early Head Start center

Lucky 13

The lucky number when it comes to early childhood? Thirteen. Find out why!

High Quality Birth-to-Five Programs Produce Greater Return on Investment (Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute)
The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program (Heckan Equation)


Smiling baby in mother's arms

Sing for Success

Singing to your baby writes a score that prepares a child’s brain for future language and communication skills. Listen now!

Singing to Children May Help Development of Language Skills (The Guardian)
10 Ways Babies Learn When we Sing to Them (NAEYC)


One sheep, two sheep - counting is fun

Count with me

Simply counting objects out loud while playing with your youngster can add up to big benefits later on. Listen to find out why.

Kindergartners’ Mathematics Success Hinges on Preschool Skills (Science Daily)


Focus on the youth - baby with glasses

Focus on this

Vision problems are increasingly common among children. Canadian researchers have found a way to drastically reduce the likelihood of children developing vision issues. Hint: It’s outside.

Outdoor Time is Good for Your Eyes (Science News for Students)

More First Five Years

Donate