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.
To Improve Maternal Health, We Must Depoliticize Racial Equity
Earlier this year, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that maternal mortality rates increased during the first year of the pandemic, continuing a decades-long trend of increasing pregnancy-related deaths. With our Joint Organizational Commitment, NICHQ acknowledges that racism is a public health crisis and lays out our commitments to critically analyze and change our organizational systems with the goal of advancing racial equity.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Stacy Scott
Stacy Scott shares her passion for being a champion for social justice and her continued efforts to address inequities in access to proper care and resources for mothers and birthing people through her work as NICHQ Executive Project Director and Equity Lead.
Look for NICHQ at Upcoming Spring Maternal Child Health Conferences
Teams at the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality are preparing for an exciting spring 2022 conference season, where staff will provide keynote addresses, give poster presentations, and facilitate workshops at a variety of national maternal and child health conferences.
NICHQ Employee Spotlight: Ashidah Baker, Associate Director of Human Resources
NICHQ Associate Director of Human Resources Ashidah Baker, shares insight about NICHQ’s HR policies and practices and how they're reflective of the organization's equity journey.
New Roadmap Provides Framework for Engaging Patient and Family Partners in Quality Improvement
Patient and family partnerships are an essential element of health equity. By supporting patient and family voices and encouraging space for collaboration, public health professionals can help ensure shared vision and values are at the forefront of determining solutions to improve a community’s health outcomes. The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) and the Florida Department of Health Office of Children’s Medical and Specialty Services have recently developed a Roadmap to Inviting, Engaging, and Including Patient/Family Partners in Quality Improvement and Other Related Initiatives.
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 [email protected], 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
NICHQ Announces Staffing Changes in Executive Leadership, Development, Finance, and Programs
The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) is pleased to announce the recent promotions of several dedicated members of our Development, Finance, Programs, and Executive Leadership teams. Join NICHQ in celebrating our staff and welcoming them to their new roles.
NICHQ Joins Coalition of Leading Experts to Address Perinatal Mental Health Crisis
In response to the national maternal perinatal mental health crisis, The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) has joined the Mind the Gap Initiative, a coalition of women, families, and leading organizations, led by Postpartum Support International (PSI), who have set forth a national strategic action plan to turn the tide on the crisis.
Abt, NICHQ Partner With HRSA to Ensure Equitable Improvements to Sickle Cell Care Under $9.6M Contract
In support of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Abt Associates has partnered with the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) to strengthen the SCD system of care by helping train community health workers, fostering partnerships between clinicians, community-based organizations and other stakeholders throughout the U.S. Under a 5-year $9.6 million contract, Abt will serve as MCHB’s Hemoglobinopathies National Coordinating Center (HNCC) to help SCD Treatment Demonstration Program grantees, SCD Newborn Screening Follow-up Program grantees, and federally qualified community health centers address structural and systemic barriers in their regions, implement evidence-based SCD care, and collaborate with newborn screening programs so that every infant identified with SCD gets early and prompt care.
NICHQ Manuscript on Social-Emotional Screening Published by BMJ Open Quality
BOSTON – A NICHQ-authored manuscript about integrating social-emotional screening at well-child visits was published online on June 11, 2021 by BMJ Open Quality. "Promoting social-emotional development during the pediatric well-child visit: a demonstration project" details how a quality improvement approach increased the number of children from birth to age 3 years who received age-appropriate social-emotional developmental screens or assessments at well-child visits.
Four National Maternal and Child Health Organizations Announce Joint Action Plan for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity
BOSTON – The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) is uniting with three other national maternal and child health organizations in a bold, public commitment to undoing racism as a key driver to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, highlighting irrefutable disparities in morbidity and mortality rates across racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
NICHQ’s Heidi Brooks honored as one of Boston’s Most Impactful Black Women
BOSTON – Heidi Brooks, COO of the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ), is being honored as one of Boston’s Most Impactful Black Women in 2021. Hosted by Get Konnected!, the virtual event ceremony on March 23 features special guest Mayor of Boston Kim Janey and is moderated by LaToyia Edwards from NBC10 Boston.
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.