Birth to age three is a critical time in a child’s life. Their experiences as a young child often dictate the type of adults they become. Both educators and economists realize the importance of promoting healthy social and emotional development of children under age five.
Child development research shows that how young children feel is as important as how they think, particularly with regard to school readiness. Research also shows that emotional development occurs on a parallel path to early literacy development.
We strive to promote infant mental health (i.e., social emotional development) and early literacy during a child’s life from birth to age three. This is a critical time in brain development that affects emotional well-being and intellectual abilities.
Parents are the most important influence in their child’s development. However, many parents are raising their children to the best of their ability with little or no support. Others would benefit from connecting with someone who knows how hard it can be to be a mom. For all parents, finding information, such as how babies eat, sleep, play, learn and grow, at the exact time it is needed can be challenging.
To address this need, the Nurture® Program combines technology with volunteer mentors to create meaningful relationships with parents that help them access information and parenting support. Parents use their mobile phones to interact with mentors and ask questions or receive information, as it is needed.
Mentors can easily send and receive text messages from a computer or tablet to help put parents in touch with the relevant information they need. Engaging parents through texting helps them quickly address immediate needs, and offers them ease of access in a manner that typically appeals to this generation of young parents.
The Nurture® Program enrolls moms with our partner hospitals including Jefferson, UPMC Magee-Womens, Washington and West Penn. To reach more moms, we are now also enrolling moms online