5 Basic Principles for the Development in the First Years

Inspired by Harvard University’s successful Boston Basics campaign, the “5 Basic Principles” initiative was developed in Chile by the Under-Secretariat for Pre-School Education and Fundación Chile seeking to promote the importance of respectful parenting and caregiving based on three main principles: love, communication, and understanding.

The “5 Basic Principles” encourage parents and caregivers to incorporate to their daily practices and care routines five behavior and interaction guidelines to strengthen children’s development, especially from age 0 to 3.

These science-based actions and approaches are applicable in different settings, such as at home, at health services, kindergartens, and play and social spaces among other gathering areas.

The program includes a series of basic tools providing key information about each principle, using simple and understandable vocabulary. The resources include videos, brochures, presentations of workshops, and other materials specifically designed to support everyday interactions with families or in a variety of organizations. Among these materials are infographics for instructors, guides, or educators who would like to help communities follow the 5 Principles. All materials are available at

This will provide additional support and resources, creating opportunities for everyone interested in the 5 Basic Principles joining related activities to promote better interactions and contributing with children’s learning and development.

The 5 principles are:


Maximize Love and Manage Stress

Children thrive in loving, safe, and comfortable environments. When parents, grandparents, and other caregivers interact warmly and respond to their needs, they learn to trust the adults around them.


Talk, Sing, and Point


Count, Group, and Compare


Explore through Movement and Play


Read and Discuss Stories

“It is scientifically proven that a childhood with this type of support has positive results on multiple levels: self-esteem, coexistence, health, and personal life projects, among others. It is very important that these 5 basic principles are promoted and installed, since they will allow children to have a much better starting point to develop their learning during their pre-school and later school years.”

Hernán Araneda – VP of Human Development Center, Fundación Chile

“Within the main goals of the under-secretariat is to support the learning of children with a strong participation of families, as the first educators and key actors in the educational process. With this campaign of the ‘5 Basic Principles’ we want to promote a cultural change, offering advice and changes that may sound simple, but that, when families include them in their routines, may generate a great impact on the children’s wellbeing”.

María José Castro – Undersecretary of Pre-school Education

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