Putting Principles into Action: Building an Early Relational Health Ecosystem

Communication, Research
Author: Nurture Connection
April 2024

Early relational health is a paradigm that integrates science-based and experience-informed ideas, values, and practices which elevate the significance of the earliest attentive, responsive, nurturing, and reciprocal caregiver-child interactions in promoting children’s healthy development and well-being.

This report outlines the actionable implications of 10 foundational principles of the early relational health paradigm:

  1. Nurturing caregiver-child interactions establish strong, meaningful, and enduring or consistent relationships and provide immediate and long-term benefits for both young children and their caregivers.
  2. Simple and everyday human interactions are “good enough” early relational experiences.
  3. Research and practice are strengthened by integrating family experience and cultural wisdom into the science of early childhood
  4. Connectedness, belonging, and mattering are essential for parents.
  5. The early relational health paradigm emphasizes the strengths and resources of parents and young children.
  6. A social-ecological perspective enables a comprehensive focus on conditions, circumstances, and characteristics that advance or impede early relational health.
  7. A broad range of helping professionals and community members can provide experiences which promote early relational health.
  8. Collaborative decision-making and power-sharing between families and early relational health professionals can lead to better outcomes for children and parents.
  9. Early relational health embraces diversity of practices and knowledge and resists reductionism about human development.
  10. A society built on respectful and equitable relationships is a society in which all young children and their families can thrive.

Please see the Executive Summary of the report “Putting Principles into Action: Building an Early Relational Health Ecosystem” below:

Nurture Connection Erh Ecosystem Report Executive Summary 4.16.2024