The Basics

The Basics™ are five fun, simple, and powerful ways to help every child get a great start in life! VPM has collaborated with partners across the region to inform our communities about The Basics. Recognize The Basics in your child’s everyday routines so they can grow to be happy and smart!

The Basics is a public health initiative that raises awareness about early childhood development and engages families and caregivers around five key principles. Distilled from research by the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, The Basics encompass behaviors that are important for boosting cognitive and social-emotional development of children, birth to age three.

VPM is engaging with community partners on outreach initiatives around school readiness to incorporate the use of The Basics with our audiences across Central Virginia, Charlottesville, and the Shenandoah Valley.


basics logoThe Basics: Initiative
In partnership with state and local community stakeholders, and the national Basics Learning Network, VPM has developed a multi-platform media and outreach campaign around school readiness using The Basics with our audiences. Why? Because many people are unaware of the importance of early brain development and its impact on lifelong learning.  We need to dispel the common misconception that learning begins when a child enters school.

80% of brain development occurs in the first 3 years of life. The Basics are a strategy for whole communities to support vibrant learning and brain development for all our children. Everyday interactions and experiences in life are educational learning opportunities. The five Basics encourage parents and caregivers to play and interact with the children in their lives, which helps them to lay the foundation for growth and learning. Parents learn and understand that they truly are their child’s first and best teacher. The Basics are shared on television, online, through social media and through community partner trainings and engagement activities.

The Basics: Toolkits
VPM’s Early Childhood Education program is working with community partners to develop The Basics activity toolkits with a literacy focus. Each kit contains a book and chosen support materials for families to engage with, centered on the five fundamental behaviors in The Basics.