NICHQ Launches Two New Early Childhood Initiatives
Millions of children approach kindergarten without the skills needed to do their best. Changing this troubling statistic means seeking system-level transformation with simultaneous initiatives pursuing multiple avenues that align towards the path to improvement. 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.
Strengthening Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Through Policy and Cross-State Learning Efforts
This two-year initiative will deliver policy advocacy and implementation support to the 12 state teams and 28 local communities working on NICHQ’s Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (ECCS CoIIN). NICHQ will conduct policy analysis and provide technical assistance that augments the teams’ ongoing efforts around policy improvements.
“We want to provide ample opportunity for states and communities to share lessons-learned and best practices, and to hear from policy experts,” says NICHQ Clinical Director of Early Childhood Initiatives Jill Sells, MD, FAAP. “By creating a more robust support network, we can help states and communities learn more from one another and build off successful strategies to accelerate their efforts.”
Common Metrics to Drive Change Through Early Childhood Systems
During this 9-month initiative, NICHQ will work in partnership with the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) to develop a foundation for a fully grounded set of early childhood system metrics. By mapping out the current state of measurements, highlighting community metric use, and providing actionable recommendations for next-steps, NICHQ and CSSP will lay the groundwork for a common set of useful metrics that can help states collectively measure and improve their early childhood efforts.
“The national energy around improving the early childhood landscape makes this work exceedingly timely,” says NICHQ Project Director Colleen Murphy, MSMOB. “With a common set of metrics, we can develop more pathways for collaboration and a more comprehensive means of assessing success, ultimately maximizing all improvement efforts.”
These projects add to NICHQ’s growing portfolio of early childhood initiatives. Collectively, these targeted systems-level approaches have significant potential to improve the early childhood systems that ultimately lead to improved early childhood outcomes.
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.