How to improve children’s developmental trajectories

Childhood is an inherently magical period of imagination, discovery, and creative play—but it’s also a critical window of development for health, social, and economic potential. Trauma, when unaddressed, can have dire consequences on physical, emotional, and brain development in young children. “We need to establish a foundation of emotional well-being, to promote their social–emotional development to the fullest, help them express themselves, find that sense of comfort and consistency,” Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for US social impact at Sesame Workshop, tells Katherine Linzer, McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) partner, in a recent interview. “We know that when young children display early signs of anxiety, stress, or discomfort, it’s up to us to acknowledge that and look at that without stigma.” On National Children’s Day, check out these insights to hear from experts on the role of social factors in children’s health, the effects of tech and social media on Gen Z’s mental health, the impact of mental health and well-being on children and their life trajectories, and more.

Young children are experiencing trauma: How Sesame Street wants to help

Gen Z mental health: The impact of tech and social media

Why social determinants matter for children’s health: An interview with Michael Fisher

How states can improve well-being for all children, from birth to age five

Author Talks: It’s time to make youth sports about kids again

The power of caring adults: Nicole Carroll on overcoming childhood trauma

Children’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic: What have we learned?

Author Talks: The making of a modern fairy tale


McKinsey for Kids

How McKinsey volunteers used data to help the children of Atlanta