Welcome to the Information Web Pages for Service Providers on the Healthy Baby Healthy Brain Campaign

In an effort to respond to the needs of service providers across Ontario, the Best Start Resource Centre developed and implemented an awareness campaign on supporting early brain development through healthy child development. The campaign was launched in October 2012.

This campaign was based on the research done by the Best Start Resource Centre in early 2011. This information is compiled in a report titled “Early Brain Development, Parent Knowledge in Ontario”, available at

Our research showed that, although parents are well aware of the importance of the early years, they do not always know what they can do to help their child’s development. For example, parents:

  • Have a few misconceptions regarding the use of so-called “brain development” toys.
  • Are not always aware of the importance of picking up a baby who is crying.
  • Want to know which foods will help their child’s brain development.
  • Etc.

Objectives - Parents

  • To increase the number of parents who understand the impact of attachment, lifestyle and stress on children’s brain development.
  • To increase parental understanding of simple activities using all five senses to support their child’s brain development.
  • To increase the proportion of parents who understand that they are the most important figure for their child.

Objective – Service Providers
To increase service providers access and use of evidence-based resources for parents to support early brain development, in French and in English.

Population of Interest
The campaign was designed for parents expecting a baby and parents who have a child aged 0 to 3 years old.

Key Messages
The main focus of the campaign was to provide parents with information on important actions they can take to foster their baby’s brain development. These included responding to their baby’s needs, interacting with them in a positive way, providing opportunities for learning, etc. Key messages were defined based on the parent survey results and feedback from parents, topic experts and front line workers. Key messages tied directly to campaign objectives:

  • “Start early.” Help your baby right from the start.
  • “Love builds brains.” What your baby needs from you.
  • “Playing builds brains.” Boosting baby’s brain with everyday fun and games.
  • “Health builds brains.” Health and wellness tips for babies.
  • “Baby’s world matters.” Creating the right environment for healthy brain development.

Most materials produced for service providers and for the public were in French and English. Adaptations were done for each language as necessary.

Advisory Committee
This Best Start Resource Centre campaign were developed with input from individuals from these organizations:

  • Centre francophone de Toronto,
  • Hamilton Health Sciences - Chedoke Hospital,
  • Hands,
  • Hospital for Sick Children,
  • McMaster University division of Child Psychiatry,
  • Niagara Region Public Health,
  • Offord Centre for Child Studies,
  • The Phoenix Centre for Children and Families,
  • Sudbury & District Health Unit.

Parent Input
The campaign materials developed for this campaign were field tested by a wide variety of French-speaking and English-speaking parents from across Ontario.

For Information
For additional information on the campaign, please contact Louise Choquette, 1-800-397-9567, ext. 2276.



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