Our work

A child’s first thousand days

The first thousand days of a child’s life are crucial for its development. By giving parents proper advice early on and through fast intervention when problems begin, we can prevent the need for more serious care later. Symone Detmar, Principal Advisor: “We want to give children the best possible start to optimise their development.”

At TNO we develop new interventions to reach parents as early as possible, preferably before pregnancy. We verify these interventions in terms of usability and effectiveness.

Pre-conception advice

Quitting smoking and drinking is one way women can already opt for a healthier lifestyle before they become pregnant. A visit to the doctor to discuss family planning also makes good sense. We make prospective parents aware of this through pre-conception advice. Consultation bodies give this information to parents between pregnancies. And we have developed a website and lesson material for intermediate vocational studies.

CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting

CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting are new forms of care whereby (prospective) parents receive guidance in groups. This allows for not only standard checks but also discussions about lifestyle choices, preparation for parenting, food and nutrition, sleep problems, vaccination and such like. Thanks to the open discussions in the group parents can make well-considered choices. Parents and care providers are thus partners in upbringing.

CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting are available in various locations as secondary standard care. Parents can choose between individual guidance and group participation. TNO is studying the effectiveness and investigating the methodology.

Early warning

Early warning of worrying situations can prevent escalation, so we have developed an instrument whereby midwives can determine early in a pregnancy whether the prospective parents need support. For example, where there are problems related to the relationship, finance or upbringing. By offering accessible care and support at an early stage, a difficult time in the future can be avoided.


TNO connects knowledge with practice. We cooperate with care professionals, policymakers and parents. We seek connection throughout the care chain so that every child gets the care he or she needs. If you would like to cooperate, contact us.

Read the whitepaper 'Investing in the first 1000 days of life for a healthy future'


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27 January 2020
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TNO is working hard on its mission to improve child health and wellbeing in developing countries with an ambitious five-year plan aimed at 1 million children. As business developer at TNO, Roelinde Bakker... Read more

D-score: Dutch youth health care goes international

01 July 2019
The Dutch model for improving children's health by youth health care gains international recognition. A research group led by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently adopted the D-score, a measure... Read more


Dr. Symone Detmar

  • child health
  • youth health
  • quality of life


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