The focus of the work in this committee is on parent engagement with the child. Specifically, in every setting where the parent-child relationship shows up (home, early learning, health care, etc.) we want to address the relational health of the (or a) primary caregiver to a young child that supports more secure attachment and more successful development pathways.


We will work to support policies that bolster the dyadic relationship between parent and child, focusing specifically on improving the mental health of young children. We will examine and expand existing measures of child and family well-being to focus specifically on this dyadic relationship. We will work through a relational frame that is distinct from the individual frame (such as with maternal depression) and emphasizes the interaction between and the relational nature of the parent-child unit. We will address these concerns in a way that is responsive to existing environments where the parentchild relationship shows up.


The function of this committee is two-fold:

  • Educate
    We want to educate other funders about the importance of child and
    family well-being (from a relational/interaction frame)—specifically
    mental health—as a core piece of what families need to make children
    successful. We also want to educate funders about important work that is
    being pursued in this area, such as the National Child Traumatic Stress
    Network and the Nurture Science Program.
  • Collaborate
    We want to infuse this work in to our conversations with ECFC’s allies,
    such as the Grantmakers for Education and the Education Funder Strategy
    Group, in order to integrate research and best practices into other realms in
    which our partners work.
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