The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (ECHW Center) has been awarded to American Academy of Pediatrics in collaboration with Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, Education Development Center, Inc., and Health Care Institute at the University of California Los Angeles. It will extend its expertise by collaborating with Child Care Aware of America, the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education, Nemours, and Zero to Three. The Center is jointly administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Head Start (OHS) in partnership with the Office of Child Care (OCC), and the Health Resource Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems.
ECHW advances best practices for linking health and early childhood education systems, health care professionals, and families. Their goal is to maximize resources for developing comprehensive and coordinate health and wellness services within early childhood education (ECE) settings. The Center's work will include, but is not limited to, providing support on topics such as: medical and dental home access; health promotion and disease prevention; emergency preparedness and environmental safety; trauma and toxic stress; developmental, behavioral, vision, and hearing screening; and nutrition. The information, resources, materials, training, and implementation support provided through ECHW will reflect current evidence, including brain research and neuroscience, be research-informed, and promote effective practices and professional development within programs serving high-risk, low-income children from birth to age 5 as well as pregnant women and expectant families. The Center will be responsive to the unique needs of dual language learners, foster care and homeless children, Tribal early childhood programs, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs. It will use professional development strategies that support states, Tribes, and agencies in serving low-income families or families who may be facing many adversities.
To learn more, visit the NCECHW portal.