The Challenge

Health is a critical precondition for learning, yet some of the most persistent health disparities have their origins in the early years of life, long before children reach the school door. Many children in the U.S. and abroad live with adversities that undermine their health and success. In fact, over 200 million children under five years of age in low and middle-income countries will face inequalities and fail to reach their full developmental potential because they grow up with a broad range of risk factors (The Lancet, 2007). Exposures to toxins, violence, poor nutrition, and lack of clean water have far-reaching effects on the economic and social well-being of children, their families, and their communities.

The CHILD Initiative

CHILD is dedicated to the improvement of early childhood health and development in populations facing adversity and stressful environmental conditions. Founded by a group of interdisciplinary faculty at the Mailman School of Public Health, CHILD is a university-wide hub for partners around the world to engage in public health discourse, conduct research, and bridge global and domestic health initiatives. Grounded in the latest neuroscience, CHILD promotes community-driven approaches that build on individual and family strengths. Focusing on populations of children from the prenatal period through age eight, we are committed to sustainable outcomes for young children, families and communities.