The Science of Early Child Development


The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) provides online educational resources in order to learn more about the impact of early experiences on lifelong health and well-being. The BC government has invested in a provincial access license to SECD. Professionals, parents, post-secondary students and anyone within the province have free access to these evidence-based resources. The content on the site will be exclusively available to people located in BC.

SECD materials are used around the world for post-secondary education, professional development, parent education workshops and staff training.

The resources are part of the Science of Early Child Development (SECD) project. SECD resources bring research and concepts to life with hundreds of readings, videos, links, questions for reflection, and interactive activities. From the latest research into babies' brain development and the impact of early experience on well-being, to topics such as child rights, literacy and the importance of play, SECD explores how nature and nurture interact from conception on to construct a foundation for development.

The two modules available include:

  • North American Edition:  Designed as a “living textbook”, this module contains five sections on a wide range of early child development topics, including content and examples from both North American and international sources on the following topics:
    • Brain Development
    • Coping & Competence
    • Communication & Learning
    • The Ecology of Childhood
    • Developmental Health
    • Child Development Primer (available in French and English):  This backgrounder on theories and the study of child development is designed to assist with understanding of the concepts related to working with young children, including the importance of observation, play and positive guidance:
      • Focus on Child Development
      • Theories of Development
      • Studying Child Development
      • Domains of Development
      • Developmental Milestones
      • Observing Children
      • Positive Guidance
      • Understanding Play

Find the SECD resource here.

Some ways these online resources may be used:

  • For your own professional development, by delving into a variety of early years topics.
  • For staff training, by selecting topics for staff meetings to encourage critical thinking and discussion.
  • For parent education, by showing the video examples to parents/clients.
  • For classes and workshops, by projecting and discussing the information in face-to-face sessions.
  • For online teaching, by having students access the resources as their “textbook.”