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.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight
NICHQ recently released a case study and webinar on effective interventions and policy efforts to reduce preterm birth, led by our Data, Applied Research, and Evaluation (DARE) Team! Learn more about DARE's Senior Director Becky Russell in this month's employee spotlight.
Top Equity Resources for Pursuing Change in 2021
Throughout this year, it has become clearer to many that the hard truth of the racism that shaped our nation requires us all—now, today—to acknowledge and address its impact in our health care systems and in ourselves. That's why we're sharing a collection of NICHQ articles and webinars that your community found most valuable in their equity journeys.
The Top Ten Children's Health Stories of 2020
In the final weeks of 2020, we’re looking back at our most popular articles of the year. From supporting children's health during the COVID-19 pandemic to pursuing equitable health systems, here’s a rundown of the top ten NICHQ articles you found most engaging over the past year.
Why Improving the Lives of Moms and Babies calls for #BlanketChange
NICHQ joins more than 100 organizations and the March of Dimes in calling for drastic #BlanketChange to keep more mothers and babies alive.
Supporting the Whole Family: Fathers in Infant Health Outcomes
Cam, a father in Massachusetts, wants to lift the message that supporting the whole family is essential to child development. After becoming a father at 16, Cam connected to some community-based resources but says that more targeted efforts should be made available to fathers. Here, he shares a story that raises issues about fathers’ barriers to support and resources — and the impact of their engagement on child health outcomes.
Coordinated Systems Are Key to Addressing Rising Preterm Birth Rates
Sovannah, a mother of three in Kansas, is an advocate for systems-level change. During her third pregnancy, she connected with a network of supports that she says completely changed her family’s experience. Here, she shares her story that sheds light on the powerful potential of coordinated systems — for reducing preterm births and for strengthening families.
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 Board of Directors Welcomes Dr. Charlene Collier and Dr. Stephen Cha
NICHQ is excited to welcome two new members to our board of directors. Dr. Charlene Collier and Dr. Stephen Cha will support our work to eliminate health disparities and ensure all children reach their optimal health.
Explore HRSA’s New Newborn Screening Information Center
To increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of newborn screening and genetic conditions, NICHQ partnered with Genetic Alliance, a newborn screening content expert and leading national health organization, to develop, revise and deliver general, state-specific and condition-specific newborn screening website content.
NICHQ CEO, Co-authors Call for Reframing the Obesity Prevention Narrative
On Oct. 17, 2020, an article published in Maternal and Child Nutrition calls for a holistic life-course approach to childhood obesity prevention that includes an equitable developmental perspective. “Reframing the early childhood obesity prevention narrative through an equitable, nurturing approach” was coauthored by Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, President and CEO of the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ).
NICHQ Names Heidi Brooks Chief Operating Officer
Heidi Brooks, MA, MBA joined NICHQ’s executive team as Chief Operating Officer on June 29, 2020. Her key responsibilities include management of the general and administrative functions of the organization, including operations, human resources, and facilities management. Heidi shares how her previous experience has led her to join the leading national children’s health quality organization.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information for Children’s Health Advocates
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new coronavirus. It first appeared in China in 2019 and is now a global outbreak, with an increasing number of cases spreading across the U.S. Knowledge about the outbreak, including who is most at risk and how it spreads, is constantly evolving. Below, is a summary of key information related to children’s health and links to information references.
New Initiative Spreads a Potential Innovation for Improving Sickle Cell Disease Outcomes
NICHQ's new initiative, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), aims to disseminate research findings that can help more children and adults with sickle cell disease receive needed clinical care.
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.