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Climate of Healthy Interactions for Learning & Development (CHILD)

The Climate of Healthy Interactions for Learning & Development (CHILD) is a research-based, evidence-informed framework for assessing and supporting the ways in which adults promote the well-being and holistic development of young children, by building on the knowledge, skills, and practices of adults to promote social and emotional skill-building, and recognizing the role of everyday interactions as opportunities to nurture healthy development.

The CHILD Program is a suite of measurement, professional development, and coaching tools designed to assess and foster equity and quality of interactions in early childcare and education (ECCE) settings. It integrates seamlessly into extant service delivery structures that support the early childhood workforce and families.


Our mission is to create, validate, and implement measures, interventions, and tools that promote equity and quality in ECCE settings that are known to foster the well-being and holistic development of young children. We achieve this by (1) providing ongoing training and consultation on the applications of the CHILD Tools to the ECCE workforce and the systems that support them; and (2) conducting basic and applied research relating to our mission, and sharing evidence with the public in meaningful and accessible ways

We envision a future where early care and education programs and systems to possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and practices that create nurturing and equity-focused early care and learning environments that ensure all young children reach their full potential.

Our values align with the principles of the CHILD Framework. As a team member of the CHILD Lab, we strive for

  • embodying the JEDI principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion;
  • excellence in every aspect of our work;
  • gaining self-awareness and accountability for our actions;
  • celebrating our strengths while honoring our areas for growth and development;
  • being of service to fellow team members and to those with whom we interact.


We conduct basic and applied research relating to the CHILD Tool, specifically, and equity and quality, more generally. Our areas of research include social and emotional learning, implicit bias, and microaggressions. Our emerging areas of investigation include dual language learners and fostering STEM skills in early childhood (the STEM-CHILD).

Training and Education

We train a diverse group of individuals and agencies on the CHILD Tool and its applications in early childhood mental health consultation and educational coaching. We also offer opportunities to undergraduate students, graduate students, post-baccalaureate, and postdoctoral associates who wish to pursue basic and/or applied research in our areas of interest.