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.
Seven Steps for Conducting a Successful Needs Assessment
Conducting a needs assessment can be daunting. The tips in this article will ensure that your needs assessment planning, analysis and subsequent actions are efficient and effective.
Supporting Children’s Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
While most children may be unlikely to have adverse health effects from the illness, COVID-19’s overall impact on children’s health outcomes will likely be far reaching.
Participate in the Census, Promote Children’s Health
An accurate census count helps ensure that all children and families get the resources and representation they deserve to help them reach their optimal health. However, the census has historically undercounted millions of people, many of them children.
Promoting Fathers’ Mental Health During Children's Early Childhood
Father involvement has significant benefits for everyone involved. But too often, social expectations about masculinity and structural barriers make it difficult for fathers to get involved, especially during the early years of life.
Addressing Black Maternal Mortality Rates Starts with Listening to Black Women
In New York State (NYS), Black women are more than three times as likely to die from pregnancy or giving birth as white women. This disparity has persisted alongside the U.S.’s rising maternal mortality rate, which has doubled in the past 15 years. Recognizing the urgent need for change both within their state and across the nation, NYS launched an initiative to engage women of color in identifying sustainable solutions for improvement.
Four Steps to Address Racism’s Impact on Maternal and Child Health
Racism has been baked into U.S. systems and structures since enslavement, and Black families and other people of color are still suffering its consequences. As health professionals, it’s vital to acknowledge that all forms of racism—institutional, personally mediated and internalized—are real, are present in health systems, and are adversely affecting the health of Black families. One person can’t solve a systemic problem, but there are impactful steps everyone can take to help address it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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.
NICHQ and the National Healthy Start Association Partner to Provide Technical Assistance and Capacity Building Assistance to Healthy Start Grant Recipients
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) and the National Healthy Start Association (NHSA) are proud to announce that they have been selected by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau to lead the Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project.
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.
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.