Calgary Citywide

Calgary First 2000 Days Network

Calgary First 2000 Days Network 'weaver' Blythe Butler works out of her home office.
​​​​The First 2000 Days Network brings together 10 Calgary and Area coalitions, the North Rocky View County and Mountain View County coalitions, the United Way’s Upstart Early Years Priority Team and other organizations, professionals and community members who are passionately concerned about early childhood development.  The network aims to connect people and organizations, share resources, raise awareness about the importance of the early years, and advocate and work collaboratively on issues related to young children and families.
The network launched its website in January 2014 ( The website provides information about the network, how to get involved, an events calendar and links to social media (Facebook and Twitter). The first edition of an electronic newsletter was sent out in March 2014.
First 2000 Days has adopted a non-traditional organizational structure that includes a stewardship group that provides overall direction. It is currently focused on the Calgary area but is looking to broaden its scope in the future.  


  • Anyone who cares about and is involved with early childhood development can join.
  • Materials, knowledge and information about what is happening across the province are shared with interested stakeholders.
  • The network has the capacity to function as representative, unified voice for children and families and impact the province’s investment in the early years.


The non-hierarchical structure of the network requires participants to learn non-conventional ways of working together and achieving their goals. Further work needs to be done to determine how the network can best function.


  • A brand and logo (First 2000 Days) have been developed and made available to members. Calgary coalitions have adopted the logo and name, attaching their own name after First 2000 Days. This has provided coalitions and other members with a common, catchy public identity.
  • Community materials such as brochures, business cards and handouts were created to publicize and explain the network.
  • A creative, unique organizational structure has been developed that includes a secretariat and stewardship group. The secretariat manages the day-to-day operations, while the stewardship group provides strategy and direction.  Stewardship members include: Alberta Health Services, the Calgary Public Library, Calgary Board of Education, Bow Valley College and Mount Royal University and others.
  • The organizational structure is based upon the collective impact framework that advocates a collective approach to social change. ( .)
  • The network is currently developing presentations about early child development that members can adapt and use in their communities, a work plan and list of deliverables, and evening events for members, so that they can connect with each other and share information about what they are doing.


"We're trying to create a movement. That takes time and it's inherently messy. It's a two steps forward, one step back developmental process."
Blythe Butler, weaver, First 2000 Days Network 


First 2000 Days Network
Facebook Page:
Twitter:  @First2000Days
 Posted April 15, 2014