Research

How We Got Here

Research shows that early childhood experiences can have positive or negative impacts on a child’s emotional well-being. In 2013, the John Rex Endowment reached out to local organizations to achieve an ambitious goal: to develop and enhance the contribution of children’s places and spaces to the positive mental health of children.

This was a concrete step toward fulfilling the John Rex Endowment’s mission of supporting an environment where children and families in greater Wake County can live healthy lives.

The John Rex Endowment awarded a grant to the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy to lead this effort with partners at the Center for Child and Family Health and select consultants. This team conducted the research, carried out an in-depth stakeholder engagement process, and created the Planning for Intentional and Effective Places and Spaces for Children’s Positive Mental Health Integrated Plan that became the foundation for The Kaleidoscope Project.

The Planning for Intentional and Effective Places and Spaces for Children’s Positive Mental Health Integrated Plan

The Integrated Plan, is the result of Wake County stakeholders who came together to examine the intersection between what contributes to the positive mental health of children – with a focus on children ages birth to 8 years. It’s a blueprint for action for funders, policymakers, and for providers and practitioners. The universal nature of the Best Practice Indicators and the focus on customizing to setting, makes the strategies transferable to other communities and contexts. Download the Integrated Plan.

The Best Practices is a user-friendly 13 page document that breaks out the 5 best practices with easy to follow ideas and strategies. We encourage you to share this document with your colleagues, staff, friends – anyone who might need an idea boost for environments where children visit, learn, live, and play in. Download the Best Practices.