From The Field

State Budgets Include Early Childhood Wins for Some HMG States
The ZERO TO THREE Policy Network has reported gains to early childhood supports in recently passed state budgets for three HMG states:

  • Michigan increased funding for child care by $24.3 million. Funds will be used to increase child care subsidy reimbursement rates (moving them closer to the 75th percentile of the market rate), expand the income eligibility threshold for reimbursement from 125% to 130% of the federal poverty line (FPL), implement new federal child care rules, and provide additional scholarships to child care providers trying to increase their QRIS rating.
  • North Carolina’s budget requires establishment of a Birth-to-Third-Grade Council to create and implement a coordinated system of early care, education, and child development services for children birth to age eight.
  • Despite facing a $1.8 billion deficit, Oregon protected most early childhood services (including home visiting, relief nurseries, and Early Head Start) from cuts. The state was also able to secure a $6 million increase in funding for Part C early intervention and Part B special education programs and a $1 million increase for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.


ZERO TO THREE Policy Network Seeking Models of Innovation for Young Children
In a new joint project, Building Strong Foundations: Advancing Comprehensive Policies for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, CLASP and ZERO TO THREE have identified 13 core policy areas that should be implemented to ensure that families with infants and toddlers have access to the supports and services they need to thrive. 
The project is pursuing policies, programs, or initiatives that are innovative, involve multiple policy areas working collaboratively, and go above and beyond what most states are currently doing. To offer information on your state’s innovations for families with young children, complete this short survey. For questions, contact Rebecca Ullrich.


Tools and Resources for Teaching About Race
Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Leadership has developed a repository for tools and resources to support equity and effectively teach about race. The Coalition for Community Schools is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K-16, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services, government and philanthropy as well as national, state and local community school networks.


Newborn Screening Awareness Month – Virtual Event
Each year, 12,000 babies with serious but treatable conditions grow up healthy, thanks to newborn screening. This presentation will provide a background on newborn screening, discuss the importance of education and engagement throughout the process, and share available resources for both families and health professionals. Including updates on educational and awareness efforts from Baby’s First Test, the nation’s clearinghouse for newborn screening information. Join this ZERO TO THREE virtual event, Engaging Families and Health Professionals in Newborn Screening, on Thursday, September 28, 2017, 2:00-3:00pm EST.


Indispensable Policies & Practices for High-Quality Pre-K
New America’s Education Policy program has released a synthesis of recent meta-analyses and other studies of pre-K programs and analyzes existing pre-K quality standards arrive at a summary of policies and practices that are indispensable for high-quality teaching and learning in pre-K.


State Early Childhood Data Systems
The Ounce of Prevention, in the latest edition of its Policy Conversations, discusses the importance of state early childhood data systems and outlines a process for unifying data systems.  Want to learn more about integrated early childhood data systems? Check out the HMG National Center’s webinar Having a Seat at the Table: ECIDS and HMG.


Second Episode of AAP’s “The Screen Scene” on October 24 – Register Now
All members of pediatric care teams are invited to join a conversation focused on the importance of family-centered care in early childhood screening processes for developmental/behavioral concerns, maternal depression, and social determinants of health. Speakers will discuss the importance of shared decision-making in discussing referrals and making action plans, and the conversation techniques that can facilitate effective communication and relationship-building. Register now free of cost for Family-Centered Care and Conversation Techniques, on October 24, 2017, at 2-3:00pm CST.  


America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics has released its 20th edition of America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2017

The report provides the most recent statistics on children and families in the United States across 41 report indicators, covering a range of domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. 


CDC Releases New Data on the Connection between Student Health and Academic Performance
New CDC data published in the September 7th issue of The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report confirms that regardless of sex, race/ethnicity and grade-level, high school students reporting lower academic grades also report greater health risk behaviors related to substance use, violence, and sex.
To help guide efforts focused on academic success and better health for students, CDC provides the following resources:


Critical Importance of Assessing Health of the School Environment
Students’ academic achievement suffers when they do not feel safe in school, are not engaged in sufficient physical activity, or lack adequate support around their chronic health conditions. Conversely, outcomes improve when schools focus on teaching students social and emotional skills, improving school climate, and providing healthy nutrition. From an initial scan by Child Trends, see how your state is addressing the U.S. Department of Education’s requirement to include an indicator of “School Quality or Student Success” and promote healthy school environment in your state’s plans for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Collective Impact Without Borders
Since publishing its first article on collective impact in 2011, the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) has deepened its understanding of what it takes to effectively implement collaborative processes between different sectors. A new SSIR article shares two important considerations for organizations pursuing transnational collaborative efforts.


National Center News and Resources

New Member of the Help Me Grow National Team
We are excited to announce the arrival of our newest HMG team member, Lindsey Lockman-Dougherty. Lindsey joins the HMG National Center as the Program Specialist for Network Investment, where she will support technical assistance efforts, working with both new and existing HMG affiliates on HMG implementation and strengthening fidelity to and sustainability of the model. Lindsey brings prior experience at the University of Connecticut University Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and Jumpstart, a national early childhood literacy intervention. Please join us in welcoming Lindsey!


Partnering to Strengthen Clinical Care Delivery
In his latest blog post, Dr. Paul Dworkin shares the successes from a dynamic partnership between UnitedHealthcare and Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health supported by a $1 million dollar grant awarded by the insurer in 2014. A newly released report and video highlight the innovative achievements coming from the vibrant partnership and evidence the immense benefit that can result from strategic relationships between healthcare providers and payers.


Reminder: Fidelity Assessments Due
The National Center has distributed the 2017 Help Me Grow Fidelity Assessment and is looking forward to capturing the affiliate network’s successes and progress over the past year. The Fidelity Assessment is to be completed no later than September 30th.  If you have any questions related to the Fidelity Assessment, please contact Von Jessee.


Inventory of Affiliate Studies
On behalf of the HMG Evaluation Advisory Group (EAG), we would like to thank everyone who submitted their HMG studies and evaluations in response to our recent request. The EAG is currently reviewing each submitted study and considering opportunities to share this great information with the network. Stay tuned!


Affiliate Network News and Resources

HMG South Carolina Contributing to Zika Preparedness
In response to the emergence of Zika virus, HMG SC has partnered with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to ensure the system has the needed capacity to support early detection, referral and linkage for infants and young children affected by Zika. HMG SC is working with pediatric neurologists at the University of South Carolina to provide outreach and education to the early intervention sector about Zika, and will provide developmental screening for those infants with Zika exposure.


2017 CA DHCS Developmental Screening Focus Study Released
On September 7, 2017, California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) presented the results of a year-long Focus Study examining the feasibility of reporting on how well Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, provides required developmental screenings for infants and toddlers.
Using experiences and data gained from our Help Me Grow systems, two key recommendations were brought forward by First 5’s: 
1) The need to work with managed care plans to increase outreach and education to improve developmental screening rates 
2) The importance of educational awareness campaigns about developmental screenings for families   
Continuing First 5 Association’s work with the California Statewide Screening Collaborative (a statewide policy body), Heather Little presented First 5’s advocacy efforts around the DHCS study at their September meeting, emphasizing the commitment to expand First 5 Association’s Help Me Grow system and lead the coordination among state agencies involved in early identification and referral. The Association was recognized by state partners for focusing on policy, rather that solely programmatic, solutions.


Family Engagement in Orange County
Help Me Grow Orange County is expanding its Family & Community Outreach efforts by incorporating a family engagement event called Ready, Set, Play! In addition to raising families’ awareness of how they can benefit from their local Help Me Grow, the event will promote the importance of play and child development by providing interactive activities where parents and children can have fun and learn together. Additionally, Ready, Set, Play! intends to further the Protective Factors and the Strengthening Families approach while making caregivers aware of the availability Help Me Grow in Orange County.


Help Me Grow Oregon has a new home
HMG Oregon now resides at The Swindells Family Resource Center, located with Providence Health and Services in Portland, Oregon. Swindells is a statewide resource center for families with children who have special needs, and offers a child-friendly space as well as a phone line for families to access information, support, referrals, advocacy, navigation and classes. Help Me Grow is a natural fit for Swindells, and will help to strengthen Swindells’ ability to serve the Portland tri-county region in creating a more robust coordinated screening and referral system for families with young children at risk of developmental delay. Health Share of Oregon is the state’s largest Coordinated Care Organization, serving Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) members in the Portland metro area, working to connect members to needed services, and driving innovation and improve early life health outcomes. Investing in Help Me Grow represents a key piece of the puzzle in improving regional system functioning across the domains of health, early childhood and community resources by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and creating a more robust, navigable and family-friendly service array. 


New and Trending Slack Conversations
HMG California and HMG Alabama are sharing about their experiences in running the Centralized Access Point through 2-1-1.

HMG Alabama and HMG Washington are discussing ways they include early learning providers in evaluating and describing their “provider outreach” component work.
Have something to contribute to these topics? Have your own question to as the network?  Log on to Slack and join.
If you haven’t joined the HMG National Slack channel, get started today!
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