Harnessing Opportunity for Positive, Equitable Early Childhood Development (HOPE)

February 1, 2018
The Nemours Children’s Health System is proud to launch The Project HOPE Consortium, a new partnership with The BUILD Initiative and BMC Vital Village Network supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Project HOPE is designed to generate real progress toward equitable outcomes for young children (prenatal to age five) and their families by building the capacity of local communities, state leaders, cross-sector state teams, and local coalitions to prevent social adversities in early childhood and promote child well-being.

Grant Opportunity
States and communities are invited to build collaborative teams to participate in this work. Up to eight community teams and seven state teams will be selected to receive grants that will support in-depth technical assistance for capacity-building through targeted funding, tailored provision of technical assistance, focused strategies and approaches, tools and materials, webinars, and support for in-person convening. Complete your Expression of Interest Survey before March 8, 2018.

Through this survey, cross-sector teams or leaders can express interest in the HOPE project. Selected community coalitions/teams will be invited to apply for grants of up to $80,000 over 18 months. Selected state teams and individual leader survey respondents will be invited to apply for seven state grants of up to $200,000 over 24 months.

Learn More
Join Nemours, BUILD Initiative, and BMC Vital Village for an informational webinar on Thursday, February 8 at 2:00 PM ET. Any questions can be submitted toprojecthope2018202@gmail.com. Questions received before February 5 will be addressed on the webinar. Register here.

What is Systems Building?

By working collectively on state systems and community approaches, The Project HOPE Consortium will help early childhood leaders from early learning, health, and other child- and family-serving systems develop health equity as a shared value. Learn more about systems building here


Nemours looking to partner with ECE/Childhood Obesity Organization to test ECELC revised Toolkit

Nemours Children’s Health System is pleased to announce a search to fund an organization to test an Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative (ECELC) Toolkit beginning October 1, 2017.  The ECELC Toolkit will guide a state/community through developing and implementing a childhood obesity learning collaborative for early care and education (ECE) providers.  For additional information regarding Nemours National ECE Learning Collaborative model, please visit https://healthykidshealthyfuture.org/about-ecelc/.

Nemours’ National ECELC is an evidenced informed model that, with funding from CDC, has reached over 1,670 early care and education programs and over 170,000 children nationally over the past five years.  As childhood obesity prevention efforts in the United States continue, policy and practice based interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity best practices help shape healthier environments for children attending early care and education programs.  Over the past five years, early care and education programs participating in Nemours ECELC have improved healthy environments in their programs and continue to implement healthy eating and physical activity best practices.  Through self-assessment tools, we have learned, the ECELC model contributes to increases in child nutrition, physical activity, breastfeeding support, outdoor play and learning, and screen time best practices and healthy policy changes in early child care and education programs across the country.[1]

The ECELC model has been implemented with large grants to public and private partners and technical assistance from Nemours and CDC.  As part of the project, Nemours has developed an off-the-shelf ECELC Toolkit to guide organizations on how to run a learning collaborative for ECE providers focused on childhood obesity prevention. Nemours is seeking a partner organization to test whether the model can be implemented with limited technical assistance using the ECELC Toolkit and a small amount of funding.  The ECELC Toolkit can provide a tremendous opportunity for an organization to build upon their current professional development repertoire for early care and education programs in a targeted community.  As an added bonus, all training materials and resources are provided at no additional costs to the partner organization!   Piloting the ECELC Toolkit before full dissemination will allow Nemours and CDC to enhance the content and supportive resources with key information to ensure success of learning collaborative(s) launched by other organizations.

The selected organization will collaborate with Nemours beginning October 1, 2017 through September 2018.

The selected partner organization will receive the user-friendly Nemours ECELC Toolkit manual, all training materials and resources online, limited technical assistance support, and a small amount of funding from Nemours.  The partner organization will provide a designated staff member for the project, funding to support the project needs beyond the Nemours grant, and participate in a formal evaluation process.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Monday, August 21, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET to provide potential partner organizations information regarding Nemours ECELC Toolkit project and application process.  For questions or to register for the webinar, please contact, Content Specialist Kevin Cataldo at kevin.cataldo@nemours.org.

Nemours Children’s Health System is committed to improving the health of children.  As a nonprofit children’s health organization, we consider the health of every child to be a sacred trust.  Through family-centered care in our children’s hospitals and clinics in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as world-changing research, education and advocacy, Nemours fulfills the promise of a healthier tomorrow for all children – even those who may never enter our doors.


[1] Smith TM, Blaser C, Geno Rasmussen C, Shuell J, Plumlee C, Yaroch AL. Assessment of nutrition and physical activity practices using self-report and observation in early care and education across multiple US states. Public Health Nutrition. March 2017:1-7. doi:10.1017/S1368980017000155.


Smith, T. M., Blaser, C., Geno Rasmussen, C., Shuell, J., Plumlee, C., Gargano, T., & Yaroch, A. L. (In Press). Real world implementation of a project aimed to improve nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in early care and education. Preventing Chronic Disease.



Supporting Children Through Community-Based Coalitions


The development of an early childhood system, both in states and communities, is an exciting venture, requiring coordination among people and programs from many disciplines and organizations, including community stakeholders who do not have a professional role related to children and families.

Supporting Children Through Community-Based Coalitions is a guide to support newly forming community coalitions in their work. The guide explores:

  1. why coalitions are important to impacting change;
  2. what coalitions need to be successful;
  3. how to get started; and
  4. what an action plan should include.

It also shares examples of nine community coalitions (sometimes referred to as councils or teams) from around the country, as well as additional resources and templates for communities beginning the work.

Source: Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance

Available at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ecd/community_coalitions_final_12_13.pdf

Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) convened the Commission to Build a Healthier America to help us find better ways to improve the health of our nation. The Commission—a national, nonpartisan group of leaders from both the public and private sectors—issued  10 sweeping recommendations aimed at improving the health of all Americans.

The Commission’s work sparked a national conversation that has led to a marked increase in collaboration among a wide variety of partners aimed at addressing the many determinants of health. Eager to build upon this progress, RWJF asked the Commissioners to come together again. This year, the Commission tackled immensely complex matters that underlie profound differences in the health of Americans: experiences in early childhood; opportunities that communities provide for people to make healthy choices; and the mission and incentives of health professionals and health care institutions.

They found that to improve the health of all Americans we must:

  • Invest in the foundations of lifelong physical and mental well-being in our youngest children
  • Create communities that foster health-promoting behaviors
  • Broaden health care to promote health outside of the medical system

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Available at: http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2014/01/recommendations-from-the-rwjf-commission-to-build-a-healthier-am.html

Community Conversation Pilot (SAMHSA)

The first step to changing behavior is awareness. A conversation—a give and take between interested parties—can help raise that awareness and bring people to a common understanding.

SAMHSA is piloting Community Conversations as an important strategy to increase momentum and support important work already being done in the field to help children, youth and families thrive.

The Awareness Day Community Conversations are designed to increase adults’ knowledge about trauma and resilience among young people, as well as inspire adults to help these young people by becoming Heroes of Hope.

One important component of these conversations is to bring in those who have not previously been exposed to children’s mental health issues and to ultimately increase interest in children’s behavioral health issues across the country.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Available at: http://www.samhsa.gov/children/cc_home.asp

KIDS COUNT: Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Communities


All children need strong families and supportive communities to realize their full potential. For the nearly 8 million children under age 18 living in areas of concentrated poverty (see box below for a complete description) in the United States, critical resources for their healthy growth and development – including high-performing schools, quality medical care and safe outdoor spaces – are often out of reach. The chance that a child will live in an area of concentrated poverty has grown significantly over the last decade. In fact, the latest data available show that the number of children living in these communities has risen by 1.6 million, a 25 percent increase since 2000.

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation

Available at: http://www.aecf.org/~/media/Pubs/Initiatives/KIDS%20COUNT/D/DataSnapshotonHighPovertyCommunities/KIDSCOUNTDataSnapshot_HighPovertyCommunities.pdf

Quality Matters Improving Population Health Through Communitywide Partnerships


Many quality improvement techniques—including the promotion of evidence-based treatments and well-coordinated care—can improve health outcomes, but their influence is often limited by factors beyond clinicians’ control, such as patients’ education, employment, and social support.1 To address the social and economic factors that affect health, quality improvement initiatives must reach beyond the traditional boundaries of the health care system. One promising approach is the use of community-based partnerships that bring a wide range of stakeholders—health care providers, educators, business leaders, social service providers, community organizations, and clergy—together to promote healthy behavior, improve access to primary and preventive care, and reduce health disparities.

Source: The Commonwealth Fund

Available at: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Newsletters/Quality-Matters/2012/February-March/In-Focus.aspx?view=print&page=all

2011 Child and Youth Well-Being Index (CWI)


Each year, the Foundation for Child Development and the Child and Youth Well-Being Index Project at Duke University issue a comprehensive measure of how children are faring in the United States. The overall comprehensive Child Well-Being Index (CWI) is based on a composite of 28 Key Indicators of-Life/Well-Being Domains. These domains family economic well-being, safe/risky behavior, social relationships, emotional/spiritual well-being, community engagement, educational attainment, and health. This year’s overall CWI is an updated measure of trends over the 34-year from 1975 to 2009, with projections for 2010.

Source: Foundations for Child Development

Available at: http://fcd-us.org/sites/default/files/FINAL%20CWI%20Report.pdf

Affordable Care Act support for school-based health centersWill create jobs, increase access to care for thousands of children


Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than $14 million was awarded today to 45 school-based health centers across the country allowing the number of children served to increase by nearly 50 percent, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced.

Clinics receiving the awards, made possible by the health reform law, are already providing much-needed health care services to 112,000 children.  Today’s infusion of new money will enable them to expand their capacity and modernize their facilities, which will allow them to treat an estimated additional 53,000 children in 29 States.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Available at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/12/20111208a.html

IM 11-06 Marco de Head Start para la participación activa de los padres, la familia y la comunidad – Head Start

El objetivo de este Memorándum de Información es presentarles el Marco de Head Start para la participación activa de los padres, la familia y la comunidad (PFCE, por sus siglas en inglés) a los programas de Head Start y Early Head Start y a sus socios comunitarios. Las investigaciones demuestran que la participación activa de los padres y la familia es crucial para el aprendizaje y el desarrollo de los niños pequeños y que los recursos y lazos fuertes con la comunidad ayudan a las familias a criar a sus hijos en entornos que les brinden apoyo. Los programas de Head Start y las familias han colaborado de varias formas para poder alcanzar estos objetivos y otros objetivos afines desde que comenzó el programa en 1965. La participación de los padres en Head Start ha evolucionado continuamente a lo largo de los años; y sabemos, por nuestra experiencia y nuestras investigaciones, qué es lo que marca la diferencia en cuanto a los niños y familias.Como parte del Plan de Head Start para alcanzar la excelencia, la Oficina Nacional de Head Start y el Centro Nacional de Head Start para la participación activa de los padres, la familia y la comunidad han creado un organigrama para trazar estrategias y lograr metas relacionadas con la participación activa de los padres y la familia en Head Sart y Early Head Start. El Marco del PFCE es una herramienta basada en la etapa prenatal y hasta los 8 años, y esboza un enfoque al cambio que muestra cómo el programa puede funcionar como un todo para propiciar como resultado una participación activa de los padres y la familia.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/Head%20Start%20Program/Program%20Design%20and%20Management/Head%20Start%20Requirements/IMs%20en%20español/2011/resour_ime_006e_092611.html