First Three Years – Make the Connection

“Pilot Program” Grant

2004 2005

Nurturing a healthy child during infancy and the toddler years are absolutely vital stages for their ongoing development. There are many aspects to ensuring children receive the love, support and interaction that will define the environment in which they are raised. This programming has been at the heart of the charity First Three Years, which provides parenting resources and training.

The Counselling Foundation of Canada directed a grant towards the charity’s ‘Make the Connection’ pilot program, an initiative for 1-2 year olds at the Ontario Early Years Centre. This program endeavours to strengthen familial relationships through positive emotional growth and brain development in children. By establishing a stable, secure and productive relationship early on in a child’s life, there is an increased likelihood that they will benefit socially, emotionally and academically as they grow and mature.

The three core ideals that drive this program are (a) Make the Connection with Love, (b) Make the Connection with Language, and (c) Make the Connection with Learning. Each component gives parents the tools to support their children through these early stages of life, when attachments are formed, communication is shared, and children are exploring and discovering.