Building a community where every child thrives!

The Together for Kids (TFK) Coalition is a group of early childhood champions with a mission to promote the social-emotional well-being and general health of young children and families throughout Central MA.

Why We Care About Early Childhood

It comes down to a simple idea-when the youngest among us do well, we all do better. 

The value of a healthy start cannot be overestimated. Decades of research on human development indicate that solid investment in the earliest ages and stages of a child’s life is the most proactive, efficient and effective way to support a lifetime of well being. As any builder knows, the foundation determines the strength and durability of the structure. The same is true for early childhood development.

Emotional well-being and social competence provide a strong foundation for emerging cognitive abilities, and together they are the bricks and mortar of brain architecture. The emotional and physical health, social skills, and cognitive-linguistic capacities that emerge in the early years are all important for success in school, the workplace, and in the larger community. - Key Concepts in Brain Architecture, The Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University 

Why Worcester

Worcester families face serious challenges that are significant and increasing.

  • Our family poverty rate is 22%; almost double the state as a whole. Specifically among children, the rate is 31%.
  • For families of color the family poverty rate is even higher;  for African American families , 22.7%, for families of two or more races, 33.5%; for Latino families, 37.2%.
  • Over half of Worcester’s renters pay more than 30% of their income for housing
  • 80% of Worcester kindergarteners are classified as “high need."
  • 56% of Worcester kindergarteners begin school with no preschool experience (vs 30% statewide)
  • Rates of neonatal abstinence syndrome (opioid withdrawal in newborns) in Worcester have doubled since 2012.

A Focus On Equity

Local data reveals that while Worcester is on an upswing, we are not bringing everyone along in our growth and prosperity.   Gaps in academic, economic and health outcomes exist that impact segments of our community at much higher rates. These disparities must be addressed or they will continue to cast shadows on our progress.  Local data provides a current picture of who is in highest need in our community, and where our efforts must be focused for greatest impact. 

The Work We're Doing

The science is clear; early childhood trauma is at the core of many long-term, seemingly intractable problems. 

Supportive early childhood environments are essential, and Together for Kids is committed to making these environments a reality for all. 

Our Vision

Our Vision

Every parent, family and caregiver has what they need to ensure their child’s healthy development from prenatal through age eight.

Our Theory of Change

IF every family has: 

  • Access to work at liveable wage jobs that enable them to support a family
  • Access to safe affordable homes, quality affordable food, effective transportation
  • Access to affordable high quality early education and care and preschool
  • Access to primary preventative care, healthy development knowledge, support as a parent

THEN, parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age eight are completely able and ready to provide the environment needed to raise healthy young people.

In order to develop a sustainable comprehensive response to families with children prenatal through age eight, our plan will focus on these five areas:

  • Accessible, affordable, non stigmatizing parenting education and family support and health (including behavioral health) services that make family life easier
  • Access to high quality affordable early education and care for all Worcester children and families
  • Family resilience and community connection for families experiencing toxic stress and trauma
  • Advocacy (in partnership with others) for livable wage jobs, safe affordable housing, access to nutritious food and efficient transportation
  • Coordination of services and supports, including the development and tracking of indicators and benchmarks to measure progress and inform future planning.

Our Plan

Our Plan

Over the summer of 2018, Together for Kids, in close collaboration with the city of Worcester's Division of Public Health’s System of Care initiative initiated the development of a community wide strategic plan to ensure every young child has what they need to thrive.

Through two community sessions and one educational event, input was gathered from a broad variety of community members; from parents and caregivers to community leadership/

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Our Members 

Together for Kids Coalition is a partnership.

Coalition members include individuals and representatives of early childhood service-providing agencies, parents/guardians, health care providers, human service organizations, community leaders, representatives of religious and business institutions, school and university personnel, local and state government representatives as well as other interested members.

Get Involved!

To learn more about our work or discover how you can get involved, email us at

You can also connect with us on Facebook!

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