Welcome to the ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center!
Before telling you about what the Center does, we want to explain what we mean by “early childhood developmental health system.” It is an organized group of partners and organizations within a state or community – including early childhood professionals, health care providers, family leaders, and others committed to the health and well-being of babies, toddlers, and their families – working to bring together critical early childhood, health, and family support services, such as maternal health and pediatric care, early care and education, child welfare, and other human services and family support programs.
This is where the ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center comes in. Comprehensive early childhood developmental health systems require systems-building approaches and strategies that are driven by evidence-based research, focused on advancing equity in health care, and address family needs – the Center was established to help states and communities advance systems for children and families who experience inequities, structural barriers, and poverty.
Let’s take a closer look at our work. The Center’s activities are driven by four key objectives to advance comprehensive early childhood systems – and to translate early childhood systems-building evidence into strategies that impact the health and well-being of young children and their families.
1. Strengthen the evidence base of state early childhood developmental systems.
The Center is completing research and evaluation activities to identify and learn from existing evidence related to early childhood systems, as well as efforts to capture new information from families and providers. We aim to better understand different approaches for implementing early childhood systems, highlight practice- and community-based methods, and uplift the experiences of families and communities. Our research and evaluation are guided by The Waters of Systems Change, which conceptualizes systems change from structural (policies, practices, resource flows) to relational (relationships and connections, power dynamics) to transformative (mental models). Altogether, our efforts will inform recommendations for comprehensive systems-building approaches, including the development of systems-building models.
2. Accelerate systems development.
The Center provides direct support to selected teams – known as Implementation Sites – in Colorado, Hawaii, and Washington. Our support is referred to as “intensive technical assistance” – we provide ongoing, individualized training, support, and resources focused on system-building implementation and evaluation. Each Implementation Site will innovate and test systems-building strategies within their states and communities to effectively and sustainably promote early developmental health and well-being, bring together services for families, advance equity, promote family and community leadership, and integrate data. Through our work together, the Implementation Sites will help the Center learn and develop an effective early childhood developmental health system model(s) for improving outcomes and reducing disparities.
3. Increase systems-building skills and the number of early childhood and system leaders.
The Center also provides specialized and universal technical assistance to reach a greater number of people working to advance early childhood systems. Our specialized technical assistance is tailored to specific topics and groups in the early childhood systems field and is offered in a more ongoing way, such as a webinar series with events that build upon one another. The Center’s universal technical assistance includes resources, webinars, and other information available to the whole early childhood field – the ECDHS: Evidence to Impact Center website is the go-to location to find all of our universal technical assistance offerings.
4. Advance the delivery of high-quality early childhood developmental support in pediatric settings.
As part of the Center’s efforts to build systems that improve the health and well-being of young children and families, the Center works alongside the Transforming Pediatrics for Early Childhood (TPEC) program to improve equitable access to holistic early childhood developmental services in pediatric settings. The Center provides intensive technical assistance to TPEC Resource Hubs that engage and support pediatric practice settings to increase their early childhood developmental knowledge and capabilities. The TPEC Resource Hubs focus on sharing information and resources across their state and community systems to advance pediatric care and address barriers to early childhood development services in pediatric settings, including policy and financing barriers, workforce needs, and other gaps.
We look forward to sharing updates about the Center’s work to advance early childhood systems and improve the health and well-being of young children and families. Until then, make sure to explore our vast resources from Center partners and affiliates, join upcoming events, learn more about who’s involved with the Center, and sign up to get the latest information directly to your inbox.