NICHQ, StriveTogether Announce Communities for Unprecedented Kindergarten Readiness Initiative
StriveTogether Prenatal-Three Impact and Improvement Network Aims to Increase School Readiness and Reduce Disparities in Children Ages Birth to 3
BOSTON — The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (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.
“Improving the health and development of infants and toddlers has long-term benefits for children, families and our society. It also sets the stage for the way kids learn throughout their lives,” said Jill Sells, MD, FAAP, clinical director of Early Childhood Initiatives at NICHQ. “We are thrilled to partner with StriveTogether and these six communities, whose focus on this age group makes them pioneers in piloting innovative strategies for kindergarten readiness.”
The communities are Albuquerque, New Mexico (Mission: Graduate); Memphis, Tennessee (Seeding Success); Norwalk, Connecticut (Norwalk Acts); Salt Lake City, Utah (United Way of Salt Lake); Spartanburg County, South Carolina (Spartanburg Academic Movement); and Tucson, Arizona (United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona).
The initiative will utilize quality improvement methodology to help communities test and implement system changes that lead to improved child development outcomes. The goal is to build the capacity of local providers to track and use data to identify specific strategies for improving early childhood outcomes.
“The first few years of a child’s life are critical in determining future success,” StriveTogether CEO and President Jennifer Blatz said. “It’s our obligation as Americans to provide every child with opportunity through a quality education, but each year an estimated 3 million children in the U.S. are at risk of being woefully unprepared for kindergarten. By partnering with NICHQ, we will help to drive policies and investments in core services proven to improve educational, economic, health and social outcomes for children and families.”
NICHQ is dedicated to improving children’s health by creating the pathways and partnerships to make dramatic and sustainable changes to the systems responsible for children’s health outcomes. Working with multidisciplinary teams—including families—NICHQ determines the best strategies for achieving goals and works passionately for continuous improvement. The organization works hand-in-glove with partners to address population health issues with a focus on achieving health equity.
NICHQ and StriveTogether are making history as part of an unprecedented nation-wide early childhood development initiative. This critical work is being funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, a project of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation. Other institutions joining NICHQ and StriveTogether in this effort are The National Association of Counties, National League of Cities and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The Sorenson Impact Center, housed at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business is working with PCI and the partner organizations to manage the initiative.
“These communities will be at the forefront of developing public policy and practice that embraces the new knowledge we have about brain science. We now know that waiting to invest in our children— our nation’s future— until kindergarten or even Pre-K is too late,” said Rachel Schumacher, director of PCI. “By bringing communities together around shared goals and outcome measures, we can move the needle to set our nation’s babies and toddlers up for success.”
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.
New NICHQ Initiative Targets Pediatric Settings to Improve Early Childhood Development
Research shows that healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to support socioemotional development in early years. NICHQ’s newest initiative plans to make the most of those findings through a 30-month project that will improve early childhood socioemotional development by using pediatric settings as a primary point of intervention.
Early Childhood Expert Jill Sells Joins NICHQ
Innovative early childhood health leader Jill Sells, MD, FAAP, is joining the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) as its Clinical Director of Early Childhood Initiatives. Sells brings decades of experience leading equity-focused, early childhood, system-level efforts that have led to improved children’s health outcomes.
NICHQ Selected for Unprecedented National Partnership to Improve Kindergarten Readiness
As part of a $6.5 million partnership funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), NICHQ, in collaboration with StriveTogether, will be leading an initiative to support early childhood health. It focuses on increasing school readiness and reducing disparities in children ages birth to 3 by building the capability of local providers to track and leverage data to drive improvement.
NICHQ to Lead the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives Coordinating Center
NICHQ is proud to announce it was selected to be the coordinating center for the National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives (NNPQC). In this role, NICHQ will serve as the resource hub for state-based perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) working on initiatives to improve maternal and child health outcomes. More specifically, NICHQ will provide change management and quality improvement (QI) technical assistance and facilitate network communication.
NICHQ Partners with AMCHP on Maternal and Child Environmental Health CoIIN
NICHQ’s expertise in running collaborative improvement and innovation networks (CoIINs) has landed it the role of leader of all CoIIN activities for a new Maternal and Child Environmental Health Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (MCEH CoIIN). The program aims to improve systems of care to address the needs of maternal, infant and child populations that are at risk for or experience exposure to lead.