Frequently Asked Questions
I'm asking you to support my work by picking up a paid membership. I expect you to have questions for me about what I do, why I do it and what it means to join The First 1,000 Days’ community. Here you can find some initial answers. If you have any further questions, please write to me at irene (at) slow-news.com. I’ll get back to you and update this list too.
What do you mean by “The First 1,000 Days”?
Neuroscience has identified this period – from conception, through nine months of pregnancy, plus two years – as critical for brain development. During this time, our brains reach up to 80% of their adult size. Simultaneously, many fundamental neuronal connections begin to form as the baby develops “brain architecture”, a term coined by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. Just as a house needs strong foundations, our brains need millions of connections between neurons to function properly. Beyond neuroscience, the beginning of our life sets the foundations for what comes next. When I talk about the first 1,000 days, I talk of sexual and reproductive rights, the choices around sexuality, the freedom and support to raise children beyond the nuclear, heterosexual family, as well as pregnancy and early childhood.
Why are the first 1,000 days so important?
I often say any one of the children around us could turn out to be our next president. No matter how powerful someone eventually becomes, every person starts off as utterly helpless. It’s crucial that children have the care and attention they need to feel heard, understood and loved so that they can make empathetic and fair decisions later in life. Decisions that may end up directly affecting you, me and everybody else.
Is it such an important topic to deserve a specific publication?
Children represent a third of the world’s population, yet their perspective is missing in our most important conversations. This is why it’s important to dedicate a whole publication to it: We were all once children, and remembering how we grew up will help us understand how important this period of our lives really is.
Is this a parenting blog?
No, it’s definitely not. We have many childfree people as part of this community. The idea is that we were all once children, and understanding how we grow into adults helps us all understand our own lives more. That said, my writings will be useful for those who care for kids: Even if you can’t learn how to raise a child from books or articles, you can feel less alone in the process.
Why isn’t this website free for all?
This website is not free for all because writing and curating it costs time, money and effort. This website’s costs are covered by members of the website, who choose to support my writing, and help me keep it ad-free and independent.
What is the relationship between Slow News and Irene Caselli?
Slow News is Italy’s first slow journalism platform. They have provided me with all the necessary infrastructure to run this newsletter and website. I, Irene, am not an employee of Slow News and I don’t receive a monthly salary from them. All the money that members pay to support The First 1,000 Days goes to Irene, except for maintenance costs and payment fees.
What is Steady, and why am I redirected to their site when I log in?
Steady is a platform that supports independent media publishers like me. They provide a platform for members to sign up and process payments. I pay them a fee for their services, which is hugely worthwhile considering that I could not possibly process invoices for people from around the world as a single individual running this business.
How do I know if I am logged in?
At the top right of this site there is a button that says Log in With Steady. Click there and Steady will prompt you to log in. If at the very top it says Log out with Steady, you
are logged in already! The Become a member button remains on the page even if you are a member already. (We are tweaking that!)
Is this newsletter in English?
Yes, I will write and publish my newsletter in English.
Are you planning to release versions in other languages?
Each version in other languages has fixed translation and management costs. If you’re interested in helping me bring The First 1,000 Days to a non-English speaking audience, contact me at irene (at) slow-news.com!
What do paying members get access to?
If you become a member, you receive a full version of my weekly newsletter, every Wednesday, and you get access to the conversation section below my articles, behind the paywall. Conversations take place among members of the community and they involve guest experts too. If you become a founding member, you also have access to a monthly Zoom chat with me.
Can I gift a membership to a friend?
What can I do if I can’t afford to pay but I want to take part in the community?
I don’t want my writing to be available only for the elites. If you are interested in reading my work regularly and in becoming an active member of The First 1,000 Days community, please send me an email at irene (at) slow-news.com and let’s talk.
What will I find on this website?
On this website, you’ll get access to the newsletters I write every Wednesday. You’ll also find an archive of all the stories I wrote about the first 1,000 days for The Correspondent, the member-funded platform that shut down on 1 January 2021.
Did you build this website all by yourself?
Not at all! This website has been made possible thanks to the expertise and patience of the Slow News team. I want to thank Andrea Coccia, Alberto Puliafito, Andrea Spinelli Barrile and Francesca Menta for their hard work. Thanks also to Nabeelah Shabbir and Imogen Champagne for their help phrasing my thoughts and to Benjamin Witte, editor extraordinaire. I also want to thank all the members and founding members for their support of my writing, and for their feedback on this page.