Early Childhood Health Data Initiative
INFORMING CARE AND PLANNING WITH EARLY CHILDHOOD DATA
Information sharing among child health providers, parents/guardians, and early care and education (ECE) providers ensures optimal health outcomes for young children in ECE settings. Local and state early childhood planning and policy development also benefit from sharing aggregate information about children’s health. Although community-level health information for young children exists in Connecticut, it is neither easily accessible nor very useful in its current form.
CHDI’s Early Childhood Health Data Initiative worked with community collaboratives in Middletown, Norwalk, East Hartford, Bristol, Bridgeport, Stamford, Danbury and the Eastern Highlands Health District to evaluate the utility of data from Connecticut’s Early Childhood Health Assessment Record (record). The goals of the initiative were to:
- Help ECE providers improve the health of the children in their care
- Help medical homes maintain the health of their patients in ECE programs
- Help communities target health issues and inform the State’s early childhood efforts
- Share information with State policymakers to plan for further development and better utilization of early childhood and school health information
Early Childhood Health Assessment Records
Connecticut requires all licensed ECE programs to have a completed record on file for every child in their care. The record is completed by a child’s parent/guardian and pediatric primary care provider. The record includes information about a range of health care and developmental topics such as:
- Height and weight
- Vision and hearing screening
- Dental health
- Developmental delays
- Chronic diseases (asthma, allergies, diabetes and seizures)
- Whether the child has a medical home
In the first phase of our work with communities, we learned that:
- The record is not widely available in Spanish
- Parents/guardians often do not complete their portion of the record
- Pediatric providers often do not fully complete their portion of the record
In the second phase of work, we worked with communities to:
- Disseminate a Spanish version of the record
- Devise and test strategies to help parents/guardians complete their portion of the record
- Visit health practices to deliver CHDI’s EPIC module, “Keeping Children Healthy in Child Care”
Findings from the second phase of our work showed slight improvements in the completion rate of the parent/guardian and pediatric provider portions of the record.
The results of the Early Childhood Data Institute will inform future work to strengthen the connection between child health and ECE to ensure optimal health outcomes for young children in settings where they receive services.
The Early Childhood Health Data Initiative is coordinated by the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut and jointly funded by the Children’s Fund of Connecticut, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and the Grossman Family Foundation. Contact us to learn more.