April 2017 Newsletter


Boston Basics News

Week of the Young Child 2017
The Boston Basics Campaign is excited to be working with partners to celebrate the Week of the Young Child (WOYC), April 24-28. This week is part of a national campaign led annually by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It is a celebration of early learning, young children, and families.

We’ll be shining a light on what babies need to learn and the great work of partners around the city. To support these efforts, the Boston Basics is offering a downloadable partner toolkit with easy ways to get involved: bostonbasics.org. We are building momentum by collaborating with allies and raising awareness about the critical importance of the first three years.


Join in the WOYC campaign on the Boston Basics Facebook feed! We are working towards creating a hub for conversation about how babies learn, and sharing tips on using the Boston Basics in everyday moments. We invite you to view the Editorial Calendar for sample posts and inspiration. Combine campaign hashtags: #WOYC17  #DoBasics  #ThinkBasics



Planting the Seeds for Early Learning


The Pediatric Department at Boston Medical Center is thrilled to partner with Boston Basics. The creative approach Boston Basics has developed…will allow us to focus health care on the whole child.

--Bob Vinci, M.D., Chief of Pediatrics, BMC

Every day, Rachel Hoch helps usher new babies into the world as a nurse practitioner in Boston Medical Center's MotherBaby Unit. She monitors and supports newborns and their families throughout their hospital stay.

Before moms and babies are discharged from the hospital, Rachel instructs families on a number of topics and helps them know what to expect. Since last summer, she has been sharing the Boston Basics in these conversations, and says her role is to “plant the seed” for the Boston Basics.

“I always talk about brain growth and that 80% of brain growth happens in the first three years—which is the perfect intro to the Basics,” says Rachel. She tries to show each family at least one of the videos, often in Spanish or Haitian Creole.

Nurse Hoch encourages moms and visitors to share the videos and website with their family and friends, finding that “the videos always bring smiles to everyone’s faces.” After watching, parents usually raise issues or questions about what they’ve seen. When older siblings are present, Rachel loves to talk to them about their “important job” of reading to the new baby. BMC is also distributing Boston Basics materials to nursing mothers through its weekly Baby Café.

Hospital leaders are looking into additional ways of spreading the Basics. Bob Vinci, Chief of Pediatrics, says, “The Pediatric Department at Boston Medical Center is thrilled to partner with Boston Basics. The creative approach Boston Basics has developed will improve child health by emphasizing a nurturing and stimulating environment. Our health care system will integrate their core principles into our clinical model and in doing so, will allow us to focus health care on the whole child.”



  • Week of the Young Child (Apr 24-28): Participate during this week by liking the Boston Basics on Facebook and sharing our posts with the parents and caregivers in your life.
  • Easily share the Boston Basics videos with your patients or clients by streaming them on an iPad or smartphone.
  • Older children can make a big difference in the lives of their little siblings and cousins by doing the Basics – they can read a book or play with them!


Did you know that babies start to recognize the sounds of language before they are born? Research on the infant brain and language development by Patricia Kuhl and her colleagues at the University of Washington, shows that developing babies are engaged listeners. Newborns can even detect the difference between their mother’s native language and other languages.

Babies also prefer the sound of their mother’s voice – just from listening in utero. Beginning with the earliest moments, babies are listening and learning from the people around them. The more we talk, sing, and point, the more we provide them with brain-building learning opportunities.

View Dr. Kuhl’s TED Talk “The Linguistic Genius of Babies.” 
Video Updates
  • Our videos are now available in Haitian Creole. Special thanks to the MIT-Haiti Initiative for support with translation and narration! Watch the videos here.
The Boston Basics are 5 fun, easy, and powerful ways that every family can give each child a great start in life.