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.
Countering Systems of Oppression
How do you have conversations about structural racism and its effect on health systems? Two health professionals open up about their experiences and share advice.
Historic Trauma is Affecting Tomorrow’s Children
When Indigenous people were dispossessed from their land, they not only lost their homes but were separated from their way of life. And in many cases, children were forcefully taken from their families. How do we synthesize the promotion of breastfeeding and safe sleep practices among within the context of this historical trauma? Collectively our Indigenous healthcare professionals offer three ideas.
Kindergarten Readiness Starts Prenatally
All children deserve an equal change to reach their full potential—to make lasting friendships, to explore and discover, and to dream big. Giving all children an equal start means supporting families from the earliest moments of development. Here, NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns explains why we need to do more to support that early health by building a bridge between the prenatal and birth to 3 spaces.
Cracking the Code on Early Childhood Data
Highlights and lessons-learned from real communities who used real-time data to achieve real results. Their experiences can help demystify the data journey and show how data informs improvements to developmental health and overall well-being
Taking a Community-Based Approach to Early Childhood Systems-Change
A community-based partnership in Liberty City, FL works directly with the families who are most isolated from support. Discover more about the partnerships they've developed and the young lives they've changed.
How can Hospitals Reduce Sleep-Related Infant Deaths?
Improving conversations between health professionals and caregivers can help ensure that more families have the knowledge, skills and self-efficacy to practice safe sleep at every sleep. Right now, hospitals across the country are developing a bundle of evidence-based best to spread and scale. Keep reading for four key takeaways.
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 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.
Patrick Conway Joins NICHQ Board of Directors
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina President and CEO and former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Deputy Administrator Patrick Conway, MD, has been elected to the NICHQ Board of Directors.
NICHQ Launches Two New Early Childhood Initiatives
NICHQ is proud to announce two new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded projects that aim to do just that. The projects tackle different early childhood levers and seek to address key drivers for improving early childhood outcomes through early childhood systems improvement.
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.