First Three Years - Make the Connection 

A program that helps parents foster a secure, nurturing relationship with their baby

In the title Make the Connection is the view that infants experience themselves and the world within the context of relationship. Brain studies have recently confirmed this theory by demonstrating how neural pathways are enhanced by nurturing, responsive caregiver input that fosters a healthy relationship. 

For information on the theory behind MTC, please see our Theoretical Background section

Overall Goals of Make the Connection

Make the Connection helps parents to:

  • Discover and practice ways to connect emotionally and communicate with their child
  • Feel more confident and supported in their parenting role

    So that their child:
  • Develops a secure attachment
  • Develops a strong foundation for language 
  • Feels confident to explore and learn

    MTC 0 –1
    9 Sessions – approx. 2 hours each
    Includes hands-on activities, discussions and video-taping
MTC 1 – 2 (Toddlers) 
9 Sessions – approx. 2 hours each
Includes hands-on activities, discussions and video-taping

MTC 0 - 3 (Babies & Toddlers) 
7 Topics - 42 Activities for caregivers and babies/toddlers


Who can benefit from Make the Connection?

Any parent can benefit. We all reach adulthood with varying degrees of unresolved issues from our childhood. Until we look at these issues, we unconsciously live them out in our adult relationships and pass them on to our children.
MTC may be all that’s needed for some parents to fine-tune their nurturing approach and, to that end, MTC is being used across Canada as a universal parenting program. It is also being offered as a first stage prevention program for infants at risk of attachment or communication problems due to infant factors such as low birth weight or a sensitive temperament or due to parenting factors such as poor parenting history, being a teen or lack of parenting support.

Every parent can benefit, but Make the Connection is particularly useful for parents dealing with issues of:
  • Limited social supports
  • Unresolved parenting history
  • Lack of confidence in parenting capacity 
  • Teen parenting
  • Struggle with addiction
  • Infant with difficulties
  • Adjusting to a new country
  • Other life stressors

The Empirical Basis of Make the Connection

  • MTC is based on current principles of attachment and responsive parenting and on previously researched learning formats, particularly from the Hanen Program. 
  • In 2006, following a literature review, program scan and discussion of program options, Toronto Public Health decided to implement the “Make the Connection” (MTC) program or parents/caregivers and their infants 0-12 months of age. 
  • TPH has completed formative and process evaluative studies on MTC and are currently in the final stages of conducting a randomized control study on 500 families in partnership with Queen’s University. For details please contact