Positive social-emotional development in early childhood is essential for lifelong health and well-being. When children have safe environments and secure relationships with parents or caregivers, their bodies and brains are fully able to develop complex skills like self-regulation, empathy, resilience, and curiosity that are the building blocks for learning and growth. For children who experience trauma or chronic adversity, though, those developmental processes are interrupted, increasing their risk for a range of negative outcomes from dropping out of school to developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses in adulthood.
The Center for Child and Family Policy will evaluate a new, comprehensive system to be implemented by Center for Child and Family Health (CCFH), a Durham-based nonprofit with expertise in trauma-informed approaches to early childhood development. As the coordinating grantee, CCFH will bring together partners in early care and education, pediatrics, family support, mental health, and homeless services in a unified strategy called Responsive Early Access for Durham’s Young Children (READY). Other funded agencies include Child Care Services Association, Duke Children’s Primary Care, Exchange Family Center, and Families Moving Forward.