Today’s kids are tomorrow’s leaders. When kids grow up emotionally and socially healthy, it carves the way for a brighter future, benefiting our entire community. A child’s future health, learning, and behaviour begin to develop in their early years, so failure to reach developmental milestones—such as the ability to communicate, regulate emotions, and maintain relationships—can have long-term effects on a child’s confidence and competency to succeed.
It’s critical that kids have healthy coping skills, strong family or social connections, and proper opportunities to learn. Otherwise, it makes it hard for them to handle challenges in school, manage their health, pursue their dreams, and meet their full potential.
United Way invests in programs that support kids and youth to develop the skills they need to thrive and make emotionally healthy social connections. Our early childhood investments help young children develop the ability to communicate, regulate emotions, maintain relationships, and develop a sense of belonging in their families, schools, and wider communities. As they grow older, they are supported through investments that help youth develop a sense of identity, create career goals, adopt a value system, and develop deeper relationships. These comparatively small investments in childhood yield lifetime societal benefits.