A Promising Start for Early Childhood Development and the Law
11 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 22, 2019
This symposium essay identifies a promising new direction in the field of family law: the emerging subdiscipline of early childhood development and the law. Legal scholars have examined discrete issues in this area, but this engagement did not lead to a sustained debate about how the legal system can foster early childhood development, nor has it yet led to the integration of legal scholars into the interdisciplinary research on, and policy debates about, early childhood. Both this symposium, organized by the University of Florida Levin College of Law, as well as the preceding national summit, are promising steps in the creation of this new subdiscipline, highlighting the theoretical and practical benefits of this focused inquiry and generating a research agenda. Drawing on this momentum, this essay identifies the next steps for solidifying the subdiscipline, with the goal of reorienting the legal system to nurture early childhood development.
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