Schreiber Family Center for Early Childhood Health and Wellness

The Schreiber Family Center for Early Childhood Health and Wellness focuses on the most important years of development—starting in the womb to age five. The Schreiber Family Center is comprised of initiatives that touch on many different aspects of early childhood, from connecting expectant parents to supports to enhancing training for the early childhood workforce. The Schreiber Family Center's initiatives fall under Lurie Children’s Patrick M. Magoon Institute for Healthy Communities, Center for Childhood Resilience and Family Services.

Breaking the Cycle of Health Inequity

Ensuring that children grow up in nurturing and supportive environments has been a core value of Lurie Children’s since our founding. Our understanding of how to approach this work continues to evolve as we recognize that providing medical care alone is not enough. Chicago’s communities experience significant health disparities; for example, Black and Brown Chicagoans living in under-resourced communities experience higher rates of maternal mortality, and Black infants in Chicago die at a three times higher rate than white infants. The health and racial inequities present at birth can have a life-long impact, creating a cycle that – without intervention – can continue into future generations.

Recognizing this, the Schreiber Family Center’s initiatives are bound by an Early Relational Health (ERH) framework, which focuses on building and maintaining building safe, stable and nurturing relationships (SSNRs) during early childhood. Positive relationships during early childhood, such as warm, inclusive and affirming interactions, are an important predictor of wellness across the lifespan and can protect from the damaging effects of toxic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) such as neglect, poverty and racism.

Promoting Early Childhood Health and Wellness

All Schreiber Family Center initiatives either promote, protect or remove barriers to safe, stable and nurturing relationships during early childhood. They begin before birth by connecting expectant parents to supports like home visiting programs, doulas and care coordination. They ensure new parents and caregivers have access to convenient and quality healthcare, social services and the tools to keep their babies safe from injury. They provide families with access to affordable, nutritious food and nurturing spaces to play and learn. They build children’s resiliency and social-emotional well-being and provide trauma-informed training for the early childhood workforce.

Though many of our programs benefit children throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond, the Schreiber Family Center includes a special focus on Chicago’s West and South Sides. All programs are evidence-based and are rooted in community partnership and evaluation, informing best practices to be shared across the country.

Words from Our Team

“Through our infant safe sleep program, we provide parents free sleep sacks and cribs. We know that finances can be a huge stressor for new parents and that this can impact how they relate with their child. We also encourage parents to cuddle and sing and read with their baby as much as possible, but not to co-sleep. When we advise parents to lay their baby on their backs to sleep, we make sure to acknowledge how difficult it can be to hear the baby cry but reassure them that they will be ok! That way, we can promote safe stable nurturing relationships (SSNRs) in a safe way. When caregivers feel heard, they're more likely to follow our advice.” – Amy Hill, Director of Unintentional Injury Prevention Initiatives

"Center for Childhood Resilience is excited to join forces with Magoon Institute programs and initiatives as part of the Schreiber Family Center! We know that Early Relational Health provides the perfect framework for our work as we build a comprehensive system of programs that not only remove systemic barriers, but support and promote the development of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships. At CCR, we teach early childhood providers to recognize young children’s mental health needs and develop trauma-informed practices. This promotes the creation of safe spaces and the development of social emotional skills that  foster children's health and well-being." Carmen Holley, Director of Early Childhood Partnerships at Center for Childhood Resilience

Contact Us

For more information about the Schreiber Family Center for Early Childhood Health and Wellness, please contact

Established in 2022 by Kathleen and John Schreiber

The Schreiber Family Center for Early Childhood Health and Wellness was established in 2022 with a $25 million gift from local philanthropists Kathleen and John Schreiber. In addition to programming, the investment includes funding to significantly expand evidence-based, community-responsive programs, and to support collaborative research to uncover new ways to support newborns and very young children impacted by disinvestment and inequities. The gift includes funds for immediate use and also for endowment, so that programs can be maintained in the future.

“Kathy and I wanted to do what we could to help address some of the barriers to health and wellness for Chicago’s children,” said John Schreiber. “While our investment has established this focused effort on birth to age 5, we hope others who share our belief in the importance of the early childhood years will join us in supporting this effort.”