Investing in the early years - age zero to three in particular - is the most effective way to transform the life trajectory of vulnerable children. Room to Grow's unique three-year program is designed to offer babies born into poverty the best possible start in life.  Our empirically-based model facilitates healthy parent-child relationships, on track child development, and family stability to promote children's cognitive skills and well-being from the very beginning.

Through this unique approach, children thrive during their critical first three years of development, with 9 out of 10 meeting appropriate cognitive, social, and physical milestones. Room to Grow:

  • Promotes cognitive development and childhood safety by helping parents be more responsive and engaged caregivers
  • Nurtures emerging literacy through exposure to books in the home
  • Promotes attainment of developmental milestones through modeling stimulating activities and providing age appropriate toys
  • Promotes long-term physical health by encouraging preventive medical and dental care, sharing information about childhood nutrition and helping parents engage their children in physical activity and healthy routines of daily living
  • Lessens the financial stress of families by providing the baby items children need at each three month visit

Room to Grow annually has the capacity to provide 600 children and their parents with the support and material goods necessary to build a lasting foundation, enabling children to start school on par with their middle income peers, and ultimately giving them a better chance of breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Retention Rate

A powerful measure of Room to Grow’s success is its retention rate. Many programs that support families in poverty struggle to get them to attend appointments; to maintain a commitment to receiving services; and to create trusting, long-term relationships with their counselors. Room to Grow has excelled in this area. Our compliance rate, which measures the number of families who have started with our program and remained committed to it throughout the first three years of their child's life, is exemplary.

In 2014, Room to Grow maintained a retention rate of over 92%. The graduation rate for families entering their third year is even higher. Retaining families in the program enables them to maximize their experience with Room to Grow and indicates that we are providing a valued service. 


Since 1998 in New York and 2004 in Boston, Room to Grow has served hundreds of families, empowering them with the support, guidance, outside referrals, and essential baby items necessary to provide their children with the best possible start to ensure a bright future.

In 2016, Room to Grow:

  • Had 600 families in the program
  • Provided 26 clinical service hours of one-on-one parenting support and education to each family in the program over the course of three years
  • Distributed more than 112,000 new and nearly new baby items items
  • Engaged more than 5,000 volunteers in 12,000 plus hours of service


Client Perspectives

Parents reflect on the program,

“[My social worker] celebrates all my growth with me; she has allowed me to share every challenge with her. Through it all she treats me like a person worthy of her respect, her service, her time and trust.”

“The most positive experience with Room to Grow is that it is not only a great place to receive help with materials. My social worker is also dedicated to helping my family and me as a whole be better. Room to Grow is a place that allows me to relieve some stress by socializing my problems or concerns.”

“I am able to come in and talk to my social worker about my struggles and receive help. The advice and books have contributed to the growth and development of my son and having this type of help when there aren’t any family members to support me is priceless.”