University of British Columbia

The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) Program

HELP is a collaborative interdisciplinary research network which seeks to unlock the mysteries behind complex early child development vulnerabilities.

What HELP does

Working with international partners, HELP developed a framework of indicators to assist countries in meeting their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.



Photo Credit: Katie Nugent

Towards better outcomes


My hope is that my research will provide evidence to guide public health and social policies and program development to better children’s developmental and educational outcomes in British Columbia and beyond
~ Dr. Jennifer Lloyd, Mowafaghian Scholar

Important Steps


B.C. is taking important steps to integrate social and personal competency into the school curriculum.  It is the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce such an innovation.
~ Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Director, HELP

The most vulnerable

One in three B.C. children start school vulnerable in one or more areas that are critical to their healthy development.  Children who experience vulnerability are more likely to experience challenges later in life.



Imagine a world where we build on the core strengths of children, their families, and communities, to create dignity, belonging, and justice for all.
~ International Institute for Child Rights and Development (based in Victoria, B.C.)

Nature & Nurture


Most of us have genes that make us as hardy as dandelions: able to take root and survive almost anywhere. A few of us, however, are more like the orchid: fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care

~ David Dobbs