In 1977, when CHILD began, we were united by one basic belief:  children deserve help BEFORE they fail; not after they fail; not because they fail.  We confirmed that belief in our articles of incorporation stating that CHILD is dedicated to the earliest possible intervention in the lives of children vulnerable to learning and social failure.

At the 30 year mark, we stopped to reflect and re-dedicate ourselves to the children, families and caring professionals who support them when success is compromised.  We captured 7 guiding tenets that represent the essence of our work - the absolutely necessary conditions for children and families to feel: confident, not fearful; included, not isolated; empowered, not helpless, and whole, not broken.  These tenants continue to fuel our work today. This is The CHILD Way.

The CHILD Way 

  • We build an intimate community of children, families and providers.
  • We look at each child from how the world occurs for them, including: what they see, hear, taste, smell and feel; how they and others move; what is safe and not safe; and what they make all of that mean.
  • Each child explores and becomes aware of what thwarts, stops or blocks them. We try on multiple approaches to discover what allows for engagement, taking risks and learning.
  • Children learn to express how they feel, what they need, and how to get their needs met in their interactions with others and the world-at-large.
  • Our staff is trained and supported to provide who and what is needed, operating from “every moment counts.”
  • We reflect on and learn from our experience.
  • We stand for success for all children.


  • Share and contribute what works.
  • Appreciate, acknowledge and celebrate.
  • Ask the question, “What is needed now?”
  • Operate in coordinated action.