New Project Seeks to Enhance Early Childhood Improvement Efforts
Jan. 23, 2019
BOSTON– An urgent national focus is developing around improving services and supports for children and families during the early years of life. This focus has invigorated efforts to improve early childhood systems so that all children have an equal chance at lifelong health and well-being.
As this work has progressed, a critical need to understand the different initiatives and approaches—given varying infrastructure, needs, and conditions—has emerged. A new project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and co-led by NICHQ and Child Trends, aims to address that need. By reviewing the current early childhood landscape and synthesizing those findings, this project will identify barriers and opportunities for improving early childhood outcomes and promoting health equity.
“When those children and families with the most need have the least access to resources, cycles of inequity become entrenched in our social structure,” says NICHQ Chief Health Officer Elizabeth Coté, MD, MPA. “Once we better understand approaches that have diminished some of the existing inequities in early childhood, we can create programs, policies, and systems that lift up those children who most need support.”
Over the course of the 18-month project, NICHQ and Child Trends will review, catalogue, and highlight existing early childhood initiatives, and disseminate lessons-learned to health, early care, and education stakeholders. By highlighting states and communities that have developed multisector approaches, the findings will encourage an integrated systems approach to early childhood improvement work.
“This project seeks to bring together knowledge and findings that support stakeholders across the early childhood spectrum, building pathways and partnerships that can transform early childhood systems,” says NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. “By finding opportunities to align efforts, we can enhance shared learnings, quicken the pace of improvement, and develop the cohesive systems families need to thrive.”
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