The Basics is a FREE program in Montgomery County, Maryland. The Basics campaign consists of five evidence-based parenting and caregiving principles that promote high-quality cognitive and social-emotional development among children 0-5.

Based on these five pillars, The Basics campaign supports community-level initiatives to improve early childhood outcomes, including kindergarten readiness. The Basics provides handouts, videos, and implementation guides to help communities teach parents and caregivers about the five pillars and their importance to children’s growth and learning.

Watch a short overview of The Basics

Originally developed in Boston as the Boston Basics, this campaign is currently in use in over thirty communities around the United States, including Montgomery, Howard and Charles counties, and is also being implemented in other countries. The Collaboration Council is working with community partners to implement The Basics in Montgomery County.

The Basics in Montgomery County currently focuses on zip code 20877.

Parents and caregivers of children age 0-5 in zip code 20877: Would you like to be part of The Basics in your community?

Send us an email at with your name, contact information, and the ages of your children age 5 and under.

Learn and grow together with BASICS INSIGHTS.

Sign up for The Basics Insights text-messaging program to learn how to incorporate early childhood learning into everyday routines.

Point your phone camera at the QR code
and click on the link that appears to sign up. 



Haga clic aquí para explorar información y videos en español


Promoting The Basics at Gaithersburg Book Festival

Communities use three strategies to implement The Basics:

Community Outreach and Awareness to spread The Basics to all areas of the community where parents and caregivers pay, play and pray.

Spatial Targeting to pick specific neighborhoods to saturate all areas with The Basics messaging and training.

Sectorial Targeting to focus most strongly on reaching parents and caregivers in a few highly targeted sectors such as healthcare, family service providers, and employers.

For more information and resources, visit The Basics Community Toolkit.

“Parents were able to see that almost everything they do at home can be turned into a learning moment/opportunity for their children.”

Implementation Partner: Sheppard Pratt

“I realize how important The Basics are and I can confidently convey this to parents.”

Basics Trained Childcare Provider

“I can use simple everyday items I have at home to incorporate The Basics into my parenting practices.”

Parent in Montgomery County

“Parents are expressing their interest in child development and consider The Basics a holistic experience.”

Implementation Partner: Head Start

Implementation Partners:

  • Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Services
  • Sheppard Pratt
  • Montgomery County Public Libraries
  • City of Gaithersburg
  • Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program
  • Montgomery County Department of Recreation
  • Housing Opportunities Commission, Fatherhood Initiative
  • Montgomery County Public School & their Pre-K and Heat Start Programs at Emory Grove Summit  Hall, Washington Grove, Gaithersburg, South Lake Elementary Schools
  • Identity, Inc.

Implementation of The Basics made possible with funding from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.