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Our evidence-based begin to ECSEL program is informed by neuroscientific advances and child development studies showing that 0-6 years is a sensitive and critical period for the development of the building blocks of emotional intelligence which include emotional competencies, self-regulation, empathy, and other key foundational emotional, cognitive and social skills.
Our peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Emotional Education demonstrates that children who experience begin to ECSEL significantly improve and outperform their peers on these critical skills and competencies.
Study results also underscore the importance of the connection in developing children’s emotional competence to their ability to use appropriate ways to get their needs met, constructively resolve conflicts, and effectively solve problems. These skills can and should be taught early, as evidenced by begin to ECSEL. The program also has been shown to build positive relationships, healthy interpersonal skills, strong prosocial behaviors, critical thinking skills, and empathic understanding.
Study findings also come at a time when it has been shown that supportive interactions with teachers can lead to increased motivation in students, and that caring, supportive relationships are a predictor of children’s motivation and achievement. They echo broader findings of larger studies showing that children who learn social-emotional skills early in life are more self-confident, trusting, empathic, intellectually inquisitive, competent in using language to communicate, and better able to relate well with others.
Begin to ECSEL is unique in many ways but most significantly our evidence-based program comes at a time when evidence-based programs that promote these critical competencies from birth are limited but critical and necessary for the health, well-being, and success of children.
Reinforcing the program’s relevancy is the international release of an early assessment tool by the Organization of Economic Community Development (OECD) that evaluates self-regulation, empathy, and social-emotional skills among 5.5-year-olds as a predictor and measure of the quality of national education programs globally. It directly speaks to the increased global recognition of the imperative role of these competencies and well as the importance of integrating cognitive with social and emotional learning in a child’s early years.