Healthy Start

Improving the future for new generations

We believe every child and young adult should have the opportunity to reach their full developmental potential. Within Healthy Start we explore the early-life origins of disparities in health and wellbeing from a multidisciplinary perspective. In this way we can identify early-life opportunities and co-create innovative preventive strategies with our partners, leading to better health, wellbeing and participation for future generations.

Our mission

We currently face an urgent societal challenge: Thousands of children have an unfavourable position from the very first phase of life and are unable to reach their full developmental potential, which has major consequences for health, wellbeing and social participation. These disparities become enlarged in times of crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our mission is to optimize developmental opportunities for all children and adolescents, irrespective of their backgrounds and starting points. Together with our societal partners we create inclusive opportunities for a diversity of youth to become participating and contributing citizens.

Early life development is determined by various exposures, from geographical and social to lifestyle and stress related factors. An interdisciplinary approach and convergence of medical, social and technological sciences is therefore essential. The Rotterdam-Delft region is an ideal living lab for Healthy Start because of the diverse and participating young populations, research minded city councils and a strong research community. We therefore believe that this collaboration between Erasmus MC, Erasmus University Rotterdam and TU Delft and a broad variety of societal partners will improve the future of new generations.

Who we are

Healthy Start was initiated by three scientific leads with one mission: to improve opportunities for children and young adults to reach their full developmental potential.

Eveline Crone – Erasmus University Rotterdam

Professor of Developmental Neuroscience in Society

Vincent Jaddoe – Erasmus MC

Professor of Pediatrics – Epidemiology

Maaike Kleinsmann – TU Delft

Professor in Design for Digital Transformation

Get involved!

There are a lot of ways to get involved in Healthy Start. With your knowledge, network and drive you can make a difference, collaborating with others. Our community consists of a wide range of researchers, societal stakeholders and policymakers, who are committed to give every child and adolescent a chance to developĀ into the best version of themselves. Become part of the community or stay informed by following the link.

Get involved!



Healthy Start Conference

At this conference we present a Healthy Start proposition and inspire each other on how to converge our work on Healthy Start challenges, using transdisciplinary and translational collaboration. We look forward to meeting you again and, together, take the next steps for Healthy Start. The conference can be followed on a livestream from 15:00 – 16:30.

Watch the livestream

Reach out to us

Let’s improve the future of new generations together

Karlijn Hermans

Scientific Project Support & Young Board Chair