Our Work

Raise Awareness

Building Our Collective Understanding

Early Relational Health is not a new concept, though perhaps a new term, and its importance is supported by decades of cross-disciplinary research, but there is still much work to be done in terms of building widespread understanding of why relational health matters and ways to promote it.

Nurture Connection’s vision is to create a future where relational health is prioritized as being essential for health and well-being by our systems and leaders; where all families receive the respect and support they need to experience strong, positive, and nurturing relationships with their babies and toddlers so they can grow and thrive; and where parents and caregivers are able to show up as their children’s most capable guardians in ways that uphold their cultures and histories.

To achieve this, we must infuse our networked and engaged movement with narrative energy that helps:


Create a shared understanding of what Early Relational Health is and why it matters.

Our narrative is shaped by the knowledge, expertise, and experience of families, doctors, doulas, community health workers, researchers, policymakers, communities, and all others who are deeply invested in the future well-being of children, families, and communities.

Center equity in our ideas, actions, and words.

To achieve our collective goals, we must acknowledge and celebrate individuals’ and communities’ social, cultural, political, ecological, and spiritual identities. We will not succeed in building equitable opportunities for relational health for every child and family unless we allow ourselves to be guided by the generational knowledge that flows through all families — shaped by their cultures, traditions, and histories.

Ensure our awareness-building efforts are paving the way for the systems-level change necessary to create widespread commitment to relational health.

This means our efforts to grow understanding must also include professionals entrusted by families to give them care and support and policymakers who can usher systemic change. We must bolster our narrative across partners to show where, how, and why our systems are failing families and all the ways they need to be transformed to build a future that works for all.

Communicating Effectively

What we say and how we say it is critical for sparking change. When we communicate clearly in ways that make issues relevant to all partners, we open doors to creating common understanding, shifting mindsets, and motivating action. Consistency also creates a shared base of language and understanding from which everyone can participate in the conversation.

The Early Relational Health Messaging Guide is a powerful communications tool that helps the many voices supporting and working alongside young children and families speak the same language to spread awareness, spark interest, advocate holistically, and accelerate change. Our success in building a movement rests on the strength of our partnerships and effective communication to tell a consistent story and amplify key messages.

Building a Shared Early Childhood Story

We must build awareness of all the ways Early Relational Health brings together the deep body of early childhood research, understanding, and lived experiences of families to form an aligned approach to supporting strong, positive, and nurturing relationships. The story of Early Relational Health connects early childhood concepts like healthy brain development, infant mental health, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE), Strengthening Families, Resilient communities, and others to form a powerful narrative for how we can build healthy, strong, and more connected families and communities.

By Building Our Understanding, We Create Change

Join the Nurture Connection Movement

Community by community, we are building a networked and engaged movement in partnership with parents and families.

Through our collective imagination and effort, we can make sure that every child is cared for and valued, every family is supported and heard, and every community is made stronger through positive and enduring emotional connection.