Scientific research demonstrates the importance of early childhood experiences to healthy development and health outcomes.  Early childhood experiences literally shape the brain’s architecture, establishing either a sturdy or fragile base for all the learning, health and behavior that follows. A strong foundation in these early years improves the odds for positive outcomes, and a weak foundation increases the odds of problems later in life. When we invest in systems that ensure all children and their families are healthy, learning and thriving, we are making an investment in New Hampshire’s future.  Unfortunately, New Hampshire lags behind much of the nation in public support for systems that serve young children and their families.  To address this missed opportunity, our community partners work to raise awareness about the importance of investing in early childhood, solidify support for shared goals, promote use of data to make decisions, adopt quality programs and services, and advance financing and policy changes that make it easier for young children to thrive.

Selection Criteria and Application Process

Our Strategic Grants are identified in partnership with key stakeholders. They focus on building a coalition, increasing the knowledge base, growing leadership and community support, and increasing funding and support for policy.

Contact Kim Firth to share an idea or opportunity for advancing the strategies and outcomes of the Early Childhood priority area.


Visualizing Child Well-being in New Hampshire / Data Guide 

Spark NH's exploration tool of New Hampshire data on child and family well-being is grounded in the science of human development, which tells us that development is a result of both genes (nature) and environments (nurture). If we want to assess how well children are doing, and identify solutions to challenges in child well-being, we must look not only at personal characteristics, but at the physical, social, economic and cultural environments in which children live and grow. Click here to access the tool.