Early Childhood


The primary goal of our early childhood work is to improve the health and development of young children (particularly those from low-income families) by fostering lasting changes in the systems that serve them. Our work focuses on systems change in two areas: child care and early childhood mental health.

Approximately two thirds of parents with children ages birth to five work full- or part-time and use some form of child care, so it is critical to understand the factors in care that lead to a child’s improved health and development. Young children’s mental health is important because it has a significant impact on their overall health and development, and because children from low-income families are at increased risk of developing mental health problems that can lead to a host of negative outcomes throughout their lives.

By focusing on the systems that impact child care and children’s mental health, we aim to foster changes that can be sustained for multiple generations.

The Fund’s early childhood work integrates our long-term interests in improving children’s health, (including their mental health) and in making lasting systems change. To make a sustained difference in young children’s lives will take time, but we are patient and committed.

Eliot Brenner, Executive Director

Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership

New Haven moms at the local grocery store hub

Recipient Spotlight

Megan Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Yale University

Project: Mental Health Outreach For Mothers (MOMS) Partnership

Improving maternal mental health among low-income women through a community-academic partnership and a place-based approach.

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