Early childhood poverty significantly interferes with lifelong health and well-being, including learning and social-emotional outcomes. Experiencing poverty often increases family stress, limits access to developmental screenings and interventions, and increases disparities across child and family outcomes. The Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems (ECDHS) program focuses on improving child health and well-being through statewide systems of early developmental promotion, screening, and interventions. It supports research and implementation of strategies that improve P-3 outcomes and reduce disparities in states and communities with high childhood poverty.
The current ECDHS: Evidence to Impact program (2022-2026) aims to bring about systemic change and generate comprehensive and integrated models for states to use for improving early developmental health and family well-being in high-poverty contexts. It builds upon achievements of the University of Mississippi Medical Center under ECDHS: Implementation in a High Need State (PDF - 850 KB).
HRSA currently awards ZERO TO THREE National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families up to $4.3 million per year to lead the Early Childhood Evidence to Impact Center under the ECDHS program. The Center includes many partners, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Help Me Grow National Center, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Family Voices, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, and the Institute for Child Success.
Core objectives of the Center include:
- Enhance and increase use of the evidence base and comprehensive models related to ECD systems
- Support the implementation and evaluation of specific evidence-informed, equity-focused strategies in high-poverty areas
- Increase the capacity of early childhood and health system leaders to implement and evaluate statewide ECD systems
- Improve coordination across the field of ECD systems to better support the health and well-being of young children and their families
The ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center also provides intensive technical assistance to Transforming Pediatrics for Early Childhood recipients, and specialized technical assistance to HRSA-funded health centers expanding early childhood developmental services through Early Childhood Development (ECD) funding. Universal technical assistance and resources specific to advancing high-quality early childhood developmental promotion and support services in pediatric settings will also be available for health and early childhood systems leaders nationally.
Universal technical assistance and resources specific to advancing high-quality early childhood developmental promotion and support services in pediatric settings will also be available for health and early childhood systems leaders nationally.