Introducing the
Thrive by Five Plan

A personalized success plan to guide you every step of the way as your child grows from newborn through age 5.

Available to all West Michigan parents and caregivers with children 0-5 years old

The Thrive by Five Plan: Your roadmap along the parenting journey

The Thrive by Five Plan is your guide to giving your child the best start in life. From before birth through the age of five, you can expect to receive regular, well-researched, and easy-to-understand guidance including*:

Whether your child is a newborn or almost ready for kindergarten, we have a Welcome Kit to match their age and stage. This is a great reference to all the services we offer, when we offer them, and how to get more help if needed along the way.

The Connections program and our Thrive by Five Plan is available to every West Michigan family, regardless of income or location. Every child deserves a chance to thrive.

Receive timely tips and personalized support on just about any parenting need you can think of through our quarterly newsletters and on-staff experts in child psychology, breastfeeding, development and more. 

Keep all your Thrive by Five resources in one place and easy to reach with our online organizer, Parent Connect. This free tool lets you complete and review your child’s developmental tools, get information about what to expect as your child grows, ask questions of experts, connect with other parents and caregivers, and so much more.

Every 2-6 months, you’ll receive access to Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQs) — the same development tools that pediatricians use to make sure your child is on track.

Each year, as your child celebrates another birthday and new milestones to reach, you’ll receive a Readiness Bundle, full of information on what to expect and how to help your child reach his or her highest potential.

Our family event calendar lets you know about upcoming local events for kids. We’re often at these events with fun activities and giveaways of our own!

We’ll keep you informed on the latest recommendations for vaccines, health and safety, brain development, trauma prevention, secure bonding, and so much more. Spend less time researching and more time confident in your child’s growth.

At 48 months, you’ll receive our popular Ready for kindergarten kit—full of book lists, checklists, sight words and helpful activities—to help you make sure your child is prepared for kindergarten.

You might never need services such as medical or special needs referrals, language translation, transportation or food supplementation, but if you do, we have 30+ years of experience getting parents connected to the resources they need.

Families who stay active in the program through the first five years of their child’s life will receive a fun certificate, Top Ten lists, newsletter, book list and more — our way of thanking you for being the superpower behind your child’s success!

*Our program evolves as research and community resources evolve, so offerings may change at any time.

At any time, take advantage of our additional resources, such as:

  • Family Support Navigator access
  • Thrive by Five blog
  • Childcare referrals 
  • Medical care referrals
  • Black and brown mothers resources
  • Special needs referrals and resources
  • Translation services

Join the 25,000+ West Michigan families who have the tools to help their children succeed. Enroll your family in the Connections program and receive your child’s Thrive by Five Plan! 

Ready to get started?

Fill out the form below to join Connections and receive your child’s Thrive by Five plan, personalized by age. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact us and we can provide more information. 

Connections signup form

Highlights our families love

The Thrive by Five Plan from Connections was developed to deliver information as your child grows from birth through age five. We want parents and caregivers to stay one step ahead without feeling overwhelmed

Here are some of the resources our families say helped them make the most of these critical early childhood years. 

Ages and Stages® Questionnaires

Our parents and caregivers love the peace of mind they get from the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), delivered every 2-6 months. This quick and easy screening tool makes sure your child is developing on time and without issues. It is the same tool that pediatricians use, without the need for an appointment. If there are delays, we catch them early and help your child get the resources needed to thrive.

Check out this sample ASQ® to see how easy it is!

Family support navigators

Got questions or unexpected challenges? Our Family Support Navigators are a phone call or email away. They can offer the exact answers, tips and access to community resources you need to feel confident, supported and cared for. 

Seasonal newsletter

Connections parents receive quarterly newsletters full of expert tips on bonding and playing with your child, local events and resources, and support for those parenting moments when you wish you had all the answers. 

Sign up to receive one today!

Thrive by Five Blog

Parents and caregivers looking for the latest information have a new online resource. Our Family Support Navigators and child psychology expert regularly publish articles on common parenting challenges. 

Children don't come with a manual, so we created one.

The childhood years go by fast, and you don’t want to miss a minute of it. The childhood years are also the most critical in your child’s development.


Ninety percent of your child’s brain is developed in just the first five years of life!

Connections Thrive by Five Plan was developed to deliver all the research, education and tools you need to successfully navigate these important years.

We did the research so you don’t have to!

What families are saying

“I have the first-time mom jitters. Instead of getting upset at myself or my daughter, Connections puts me at ease.”

—Connections Mom

“My daughter was slow at walking and Connections gave me so many different activities to do with her. I did them every day and by the end of the month, my baby girl was walking!”

—Connections Mom

“From the day I took my child home I asked myself, ‘What am I going to do?’ After receiving help from the Connections program, they taught me that everything would be okay, I’m a good mother, and that I’m doing well. They walked with me every step of the way to help my daughter reach those milestone moments in her life!”

—Connections Mom

Give your child the best chance at success

You are under no obligation to use the tools we send you, but the support will always be there when you need it for the first five years of your child’s life. 

Families who want more support can also reach out to one of our professional Family Support Navigators. We can connect you to resources like child care, baby pantries, parenting classes, finding a pediatrician and more. Or we can answer your questions and be a listening ear when you need it most. 

Your child’s Thrive by Five Plan and Family Support Navigator access is only available by enrolling in the Connections program. All program costs are currently covered by grants, donations, funders, and taxpayer contributions to the Ready by Five Early Childhood Millage. 

The first five years go by so fast. Don’t miss out on this critical window for success. 

Funding provided by

Private Donations