Essentials for Childhood project

This project promotes safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for all children, families, and communities. These relationships and environments are essential for healthy child development and lifelong health.

About the Essentials for Childhood project

By targeting home, school, and workplace environments, Essentials for Childhood promotes relationships and environments that help children grow up to be healthy and productive citizens who can then build stronger and safer communities for the next generation.

  • Essentials for Childhood is intended for anyone committed to the positive development of children and families, specifically to the prevention of all forms of child abuse and neglect.
  • Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are essential to preventing negative childhood experiences and to ensuring children reach their full potential.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following goals to promote safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments:
    • Raise awareness and commitment across many partners.
    • Use data to inform actions.
    • Increase healthy children and families through norms change and programs.
    • Increase healthy children and families through policies.

Colorado is one of five states to be awarded funding from the CDC for the five-year Essentials for Childhood project. We serve as the “backbone organization” of this project to coordinate cross-sector groups, guide vision, and strategy, and support aligned activities. At the end of the project period, each awarded state will serve as a case study to inform national standards to build safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments.

Creating safety, maintaining stability, and nurturing behaviors are three critical qualities of all relationships and environments that make a difference for children as they grow and develop. These relationships can be established in environments children encounter outside of the home, such as school or a doctor’s office, and include relationships with caregivers other than the child's parents, such as teachers, coaches, and mentors. Adult relationships are equally crucial for a child’s healthy growth and development, relationships with employers and positive workplace environments are an important part of the Essentials for Childhood project. Essentials for Childhood supports factors impacting children, adults, and the Colorado communities where we live.