Early care and education programs significantly contribute to children’s health and development. A new IMPACT by the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI) recommends health consultation as a key strategy for integrating health into early learning systems and maximizing the contribution of early learning programs to children’s healthy development. Research shows that the presence of a health consultant, usually a nurse by training, in child care centers leads to positive outcomes including improved nutrition, better sanitation and infection control, increases in access to preventive health care, specialty health care, mental health care, and oral health services.
“We rely on child care health consultants to ensure children’s health and safety in early care settings according to child care licensing regulations, but these providers are not fully supported nor utilized by our child health systems,” said Lisa Honigfeld, co-author of the report and vice president for health at CHDI. “Policy reform can strengthen and expand the role of child care health consultants to connect parents, child health providers, and child care centers to better promote health and developmental outcomes for children.”
CHDI’s IMPACT, Promoting Children’s Health in Early Care and Education Settings by Supporting Health Consultation, summarizes research on the role and benefits of health consultation in early learning settings, and reviews policies, regulations, training, and payment structures used in Connecticut and other states. The IMPACT also provides a framework for Connecticut to integrate health into early learning systems by utilizing the opportunities presented as part of State health reform efforts.
- View a one-page summary or download the full report for more detailed information on addressing child health in early care and education settings.
- For media questions, contact Julie Tacinelli at email@example.com or 860-679-1534.
The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI), a subsidiary of the Children’s Fund of Connecticut, is a not-for-profit organization working to ensure all children have a strong start in life with ongoing supports to ensure their optimal health and well-being. CHDI promotes healthy outcomes for all children in Connecticut by advancing effective policies, stronger systems, and innovative practices.