Transforming Early Childhood Systems
The first few years of life set the stage for a child’s future. Experiences during early childhood (prenatal to kindergarten) inform social, emotional and cognitive development, as well as overall health, determining early in life whether a child is set up to reach his or her optimal health.
Knowing the great impact investments and interventions can have at this critical stage of development, NICHQ is working through various projects and partnerships, to mobilize diverse sectors—including families, communities and policymakers—to transform early childhood systems to ultimately improve health outcomes for young children nationwide.
Keep scrolling, or use these quick links, to learn more.
Social Determinants of Health
Children's health during their early years often depends on the circumstances in which they are born. Access to good schools, housing, food, community supports - all of these determinants affect children's health and development. Learn more about how social determinants of health affect health equity.
When families struggle because of environmental circumstances, such as their job, community or economic status, children's health also suffers. A two-generation approach acknowledges that parent and child health are intertwined and seeks to address the needs of the family holistically. NICHQ's CEO discusses how here. Or, watch this video that explains why two-generation approaches can have a big impact on early childhood outcomes.
Children should have three developmental screenings before they reach their third birthday.These screenings assess whether children are meeting their developmental milestones, prompt proactive interventions and help all children start school ready to succeed. Find out more in this webinar, or read about one state's developmental screening journey.
Supports for Parents and Caregivers:
Parents lay the groundwork for their children's future. That's why we're invested in helping families understand how important early childhood development is, what resources they can tap, and what actions they can take. Learn more about a powerful state system that empowers parents, or read an article about how to launch an early childhood parent academy in your community.
Join Our Virtual Community
The Collaboratory is a virtual place where ECCS CoIIN participants and stakeholders can share ideas and best practices, ask questions, and uncover useful tips to advance their change efforts. With an "all teach, all learn" and "steal shamelessly" philosophy, NICHQ is opening up the Collaboratory to anyone working to enhance early childhood systems.
Already a member? Log-in here.
Want to join? Fill out this form to request access.
Building an Early Childhood Community Coalition
A coalition of diverse stakeholders has proven to be a catalyst for early childhood improvement in Chelsea, Massachusetts, helping them align messages, raise awareness, and collect more robust and relevant data. Ready build one in your community? Find out how here.
A Call to Keep More Moms and Babies Safe
Preeclampsia, a dangerous disorder where a mother’s blood pressure spikes during pregnancy, is one of the leading causes of maternal and infant illness and death. Here, a mother who lost her baby daughter shares a plea for improvement.
Millions of Invisible Children
Over 13 million children live in rural areas and of those 13 million, more than a quarter live in poverty. Here, NICHQ Chief Health Officer Elizabeth Coté, MD, MPH, expands on the urgent need to understand and respond to the disparities in health outcomes for this population of children.
Bringing Breastfeeding Support to More Mothers and Caregivers
In an increasingly digital age, telelactation support is a powerful opportunity to increase breastfeeding rates among amothers who can't access classes. In addition to over the phone, lactation consultants and counselors can support moms through video chats like Skype, via text message or in online communities.
A Mother-Centered Approach to Treating Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
A mother-centered approach to caring for NAS may reduce the need for drug treatment and length of hospital stays. Here, Matthew Grossman, MD, one of the authors of the approach, expands on its benefits for improving infant health outcomes.
A Better Approach to Conversations about Breastfeeding
Without hearing directly from mothers, health professionals can’t provide meaningful education and support that speaks to each mother’s individual views and experiences. This is one reason why improving conversations with breastfeeding mothers can help increase breastfeeding rates. Here, two experts offer advice on how put a better conversational approach into action.
Partners in Collaboration
To transform early childhood systems—as opposed to implementing individual interventions—requires collaboration from a host of traditional and nontraditional partners. Below are organizations we are proud to call our partners in this important work. Click the links below to learn more about each organization's work in early childhood. Email us at email@example.com, or complete the form below, to learn how you can get involved.
- Applied Engineering Management Corporation
- Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
- Center for the Study of Social Policy
- Children’s Hospital at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Health Resources and Services Administration Maternal and Child Health Bureau
- Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation
- National Institutes of Health
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Silicon Valley Community Foundation Parenting Through Pediatrics Fund
- ZERO to THREE
NICHQ Announces Exploration of Preterm Birth Rates
NICHQ is honored to announce a new initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that seeks to better understand how state-level systems change may help lower preterm birth rates.
New Project Seeks to Enhance Early Childhood Improvement Efforts
A new project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and co-led by NICHQ and Child Trends, will identify barriers and opportunities for improving early childhood outcomes and promoting health equity.
NICHQ Selected to Manage Content for National Newborn Screening Website
NICHQ is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Health Resources and Services Administration to manage all content for a new comprehensive web-based clearinghouse.
NICHQ to Lead National Sickle Cell Disease Collaborative
The Health Resources and Service Administration has selected NICHQ as the National Coordinating Center for the Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Demonstration Regional Collaborative Program. In this role, NICHQ will leverage its experience with chronic disease management and data-driven quality improvement methodology to support and coordinate the activities of five regional coordinating centers (RCCs) seeking to improve sickle cell disease care.
NICHQ Names Elizabeth Coté Chief Health Officer
Elizabeth Coté, MD, MPA, joins NICHQ's executive team as Chief Health Officer on May 31. In this role, Coté will provide medical and public health leadership to NICHQ programs and advance the organization’s mission as a leader in children’s health. Coté is a Harvard-trained physician deeply rooted in service to under-resourced communities.
NICHQ Announces Communities for Kindergarten Readiness Initiative
NICHQ and child education outcomes leader StriveTogether today announced six communities will participate in their joint initiative. Called the StriveTogether Prenatal to Age 3 Impact and Improvement Network, the goal is to ensure kindergarten readiness for children by focusing on healthy beginnings, family support, quality care and excellent learning environments from infancy to age 3.
Partner With Us
Are you interested in using these changes ideas to improve children’s health in a population, state or healthcare setting? Contact to NICHQ to discuss:
- Opportunities to identify partners and strategies to get partner buy-in
- Tools used to track data and enhance collaboration
- Training on consistent messaging and counseling
From supporting individual organizations to national programs, NICHQ’s vast change management experience helps us customize the best solution for you.