United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

Brain Building in Progress


Building young minds and Massachusetts’ future

Started in 2010 as a joint initiative of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Brain Building in Progress is a statewide campaign to raise public awareness and involvement in young children’s healthy development and learning.

Our work is based upon the latest science and research on early childhood development. Our mission is to raise awareness of the critical importance of fostering the cognitive, social and emotional development of young children by emphasizing its future impact on the economic prosperity of everyone in Massachusetts.

The “Brain Building in Progress” campaign promotes the important role everyone can play in building young children’s brains. We welcome the business, education, and policy-making communities, as well as members of the media to be part of this crucial venture. By giving a strong start to our youngest citizens, we create a stronger, more prosperous future for all.

A child’s brain development in the first five years of life significantly influences his/her ability to learn over a lifetime. Early experiences shape how the brain is built during this time. Strong brains provide children with a strong foundation for future success in school and in life.

Brain building happens when children are exposed to enriching environments with positive stimulation and engaged in back-and-forth interactions with adults. Activities such as reading to children, asking them questions, and engaging them in conversation promote brain building.

Learn more about the science behind Brain Building and the statewide campaign to engage parents, children and stakeholders  and download resources and activities at brainbuildinginprogress.org.