News

NICHQ Selected for Unprecedented National Partnership to Improve Kindergarten Readiness

 
November 30, 2017

An estimated 3 million children in the U.S. each year are at risk of starting kindergarten not ready to learn. Without the proper support, many children do not achieve the social and emotional growth needed to succeed in school and in their future workplace.

As part of a $6.5 million partnership funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (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.

“This partnership is poised to have a huge influence on the pace in which improving outcomes for children ages 0 to 3 can happen,” says NICHQ President and CEO Scott Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. “We’re eager to bring our change management approach to help local providers use data and continuous quality improvement methods to improve the lives of the children they serve. Ultimately, we aim to crystalize strategies that can be amplified nationally as best practices.”

This is the first in a series of PCI-supported national, state and local efforts to improve kindergarten readiness for children nationwide. The network of partners, which also includes the National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, will work together to promote targeted, evidence-based programs and services, including a focus on a healthy start at birth, support of families with infants and toddlers, and provision of high-quality care and learning environments. Research shows that investment in children and their families in the earliest years helps communities create better education, health, social and economic outcomes that increase revenue and reduce the need for costly, less effective interventions later in life.

“The science is telling us that we have an opportunity to ensure all our nation’s children are on a path to success far before children begin kindergarten,” says Rachel Schumacher, PCI director. “Engaging communities in this work is key. When communities come together, the potential for positive change for their children and families is profound.”

This initiative builds on NICHQ’s growing portfolio of early childhood work, including the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (ECCS CoIIN), which will provide unique insight on the key strategies for improvement needed when targeting the early childhood population.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Caitlin Forbes
Caitlin Forbes
NICHQ Communications Manager
cforbes@nichq.org or 617-391-2727