Early Childhood Development
We help stakeholders collectively put practices and policies for early childhood and brain development into action.
The importance of early childhood and brain development is widely embraced by healthcare, education, government, philanthropy and business leaders. Research clearly connects adverse childhood experiences, particularly in the early years, with an array of poor outcomes, including health problems, academic delays, increased criminal activity and economic instability.
Our early childhood work began in 2004 when a group of Fortune 1000 CEO’s, the Mayor of Shelby County Tennessee, and private foundations commissioned our planning and operational support services to help expand nationally accredited early care and education programs, infants through pre-K, delivering a 1800% increase of NAEYC-accredited childcare and Head Start programs serving over 3,000 low-income children across the county. The following year, the Tennessee Department of Health tapped our study on effective early home visitation practices to design a home-based care coordination program now delivered to thousands of families with young children each year by health departments across the state. Our most recent work in early childhood ranges from infant mental health integration to state-level advocacy infrastructure for high quality voluntary pre-K.
Along the way, we’ve supported stakeholders to build integrated delivery models and collective impact for comprehensive evidence-based early childhood systems, prenatal through age 8, as well as maternal health and family, supports. Our work helps strengthen programs, policies, and partnerships to foster family resiliency and nurture protective factors to counter the effects of toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences. These efforts support healthier births, better parenting, greater economic stability and improved school readiness.