A component of the Help Me Grow National Center’s Early Childhood Network Mapping Toolkit, Foundations of Social Network Science for Help Me Grow Impact: An Early Childhood Network Mapping Starter Guide provides key information on the basic principles of social network science and social network analysis. 

Download the Starter Guide

Developed for the Help Me Grow National Center by Danielle Varda, CEO and Founder of Visible Network Labs, the Starter Guide is intended to offer a foundational understanding of the science that underpins the other components of the Early Childhood Network Mapping Toolkit, which include: 

  1. Survey tool – An online set of approximately 25 questions specifically customized to focus specifically on making improvements to existing early childhood networks.
  2. Interactive Workbook Report – This component provides the analysis of data collected via the survey and presents results. The Workbook Report applies the lessons learned related to social network science to assist users in processing the meaning of their own results. The Workbook Report is “interactive” in its inclusion of quality improvement prompts and suggested action steps, assisting users to both come to a meaningful understanding of their data and promoting the use of analysis to guide concrete and tangible action steps to improve the existing network with specific systemic goals in mind.

The Toolkit helps a given early childhood network:

  • Identify key players in a network
  • Gain understanding of the collective, and various, visions for success
  • Gain understanding of various organization’s perspective on the most critical goals for the early childhood network
    • Assess extent to which there is agreement across partners
    • Gain understanding of which critical goals members believe the network is most and least likely to achieve and why
    • Collect perspective from partners on the barriers to achieving the network’s most critical goals
  • Assess the resources contributed by each partner
    • Identify underutilized resources to fill gaps
    • Identify missing and needed resources
  • Assess the nature of interactions among network partners
  • Assess the strength and quality of partnerships across a network
  • Measure trust and perceived power among partners
  • Score the network as a whole to provide a baseline against which progress can be tracked
  • Measure outcomes around perceived success, program development, and relationship building


If you are interested in learning more about the Early Childhood Network Mapping Toolkit, contact Sarah Zucker at szucker@connecticutchildrens.org