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Our Impact Lasts a Lifetime.

85% of brain development happens by the time a child turns age 3. During these first 3 years of life, the brain is making connections that will become the foundation for all other learning.

Our Mission

First3Years nurtures early relational and mental health of infants and toddlers in Texas. Working in deep collaboration with caregivers, parents, and professionals statewide, we cultivate strong early childhood systems, educate our workforce, and advance best practices.

Founded in 1980 to close the training and education gap for professionals.

First3Years was founded in 1980 by a group of volunteers in the infant mental health field who were concerned about the quality of care for infants and toddlers both inside and outside the home.  They wanted to create high quality training and education opportunities for professionals whose work impacts the emotional development of infants, toddlers, and their families.

In 1986, First3Years was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization, and over the past 40 years we have trained and mentored thousands of professionals across the state on brain development, attachment, separation, trauma, self-regulation, cross-cultural awareness, and other infant mental health related issues. We believe that supporting the social emotional development of infants and toddlers is critical for helping the next generation be healthy, productive members of society.

Value of F3Y Programs

  • Build awareness of the critical importance of the first three years of life.

  • Educate professionals in best practices. First3Years impacts professionals across the state of Texas and beyond, providing professional development opportunities and access to the latest resources. 

  • Provide interventions that enhance the quality of relationships between infants/toddlers and their caregivers.

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F3Y Vision

Our vision is that all infants and toddlers in Texas spend their first three years in an ecosystem that supports the healthy development of their early mental and relational health.

How We Impact Communities

First3Years is the only organization in Texas working across sectors to improve positive lifetime outcomes through supporting a specialized early childhood workforce and creating systemic change for infants and toddlers. Parents, caregivers, and professionals must have access to current research about infant/toddler development to help children reach their greatest potential as adults. With an increased understanding of the need for information on infant/toddler development and a gap in state policies to require more rigorous training and licensing, the demand for First3Years' programs has steadily increased. Over the past 40 years, First3Years has continued to build on our foundation, growing to impact more than 154,000 children annually.

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