Announcing our Child Care Health Consultation Awardees

We are excited to announce our awarded community partners for Child Care Health Consultation (CCHC) funding! Congratulations to Kindering Center on their award for Child Care Health Consultation Systems Development. Congratulations to the following organizations on their awards for Child Care Health Consultation Service Delivery:

  • Chinese Information and Service Center
  • Encompass Northwest
  • Living Well Kent Collaborative
  • Kindering Center
  • Northwest Center
  • Sisters in Common
  • Somali Health Board

Child Care Health Consultation Service Delivery

Child Care Health Consultation (CCHC) is a strategy that promotes the health and development of children, families and child care staff by ensuring healthy and safe child care environments. Child Care Health Consultants provide tailored training, coaching, and support to child care providers to address their most pressing needs and provide overall assistance in identifying and implementing change to improve health and safety. This Best Starts for Kids funding focuses on expanding CCHC in King County through Public Health models and Community-Informed pilots. Public Health models rely on a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals and follow general best practices of CCHC as well as standards set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Community-Informed pilots use approaches that are designed for and/or implemented in a specific community. They are valued by that community, embedded in cultural practices and norms, and serve populations using an approach specific to their needs.

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A child care provider in an infant room during a child care health consultation visit.

Best Starts for Kids is supporting Public Health models provided by the following organizations:

  • Encompass Northwest
  • Kindering Center
  • Northwest Center

Best Starts for Kids is supporting Community-Informed pilots provided by the following organizations:

  • Chinese Information and Service Center
  • Living Well Kent Collaborative
  • Sisters in Common
  • Somali Health Board

Community Partner Highlight

Best Starts for Kids is excited to support the Chinese Information and Service Center (CISC) for their important work with Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) care. Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) care is the most common type of childcare for infants and toddlers in Washington State and throughout the country. FFN caregivers are grandparents, aunts and uncles, other elders, older siblings, friends, and neighbors who help families take care of their children on an informal basis. They are unlicensed caregivers who provide regular childcare to help friends and family members who do not have access (due to language, cultural, or economic barriers) to more formal, licensed childcare options.

Immigrant families often choose FFN care because they want to leave their children with someone they know and trust, who values their child, shares their culture and speaks their language. The close personal relationships FFN caregivers have with the children and their families allow their care to reflect a sense of connection and intimacy that is not always practical or appropriate in a larger, more formal setting.

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A grandmother caring for her grandson–an example of a FFN caregiver.

CISC has witnessed first-hand the dedication and commitment FFN caregivers have to helping the children in their care receive what they need in order to thrive. Since 2001, CISC has been providing these informal caregivers with the resources and guidance they need to carry out their care-giving functions effectively. CISC recognizes the need to provide these caregivers proven, effective methods of child care/parenting and to address key issues such as discipline, cultural differences in parenting, literacy and school readiness.

Best Starts for Kids funding will directly support CISC’s latest effort–an innovative new pilot program designed to bring the benefits of consultation to FFN caregivers. The FFN Caregiver Support Program will include caregiver workshops, in-home consultations, and developmental screenings and assessments. Using a bilingual/bicultural approach, CISC will offer information, resources, and support to FFN caregivers by building on protective factors and strengthening their skills in guiding children’s physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development and kindergarten readiness. The Program will utilize a bilingual/bicultural healthcare team comprised of a Program Director, a Social Worker, a Nurse, and three Community Liaisons. The Community Liaisons will be the primary point of contact and support for FFN Caregivers – helping to lead activities during the FFN Caregiver Workshops and conducting in-home consultations. Both the Social Worker and Nurse will provide trainings in their areas of expertise and will work in tandem with the Community Liaisons each month to develop the curriculum for the workshops based on discussions and needs identified in previous workshops. As the majority of FFN caregivers are extended family members, of which many are grandparents, CISC’s program seeks to support three generations within one immigrant family.

Child Care Health Consultation Systems Development

To best serve providers and children across King County, Best Starts is also partnering with Kindering Center to lead systems development work for CCHC. This work will build a system of child care health by connecting service delivery and resources across King County and strategically integrating this work into larger early learning, health, and Help Me Grow systems with a focus on addressing disproportionalities and disparities experienced by children, families, and child care providers.

King County currently lacks a comprehensive and accessible system of CCHC. The development of a cohesive and county-wide child care health consultation system will increase impact and support better outcomes for children, families, and child care providers. Systems development will focus on connecting components of child care health, building strong relationships among relevant agencies, and planning for effective long-term delivery of child care health consultation, with a focus on decreasing inequity in health outcomes, and increasing access to resources and supports.

Best Starts is excited to support Kindering as they bring deep knowledge and expertise in King County’s early learning system, accompanied by strong community partnerships. Their strengths-based approach aligns with Best Starts’ mission and values and their team has experience and relationships in relevant work.  Best Starts also appreciates Kindering’s focus on mental health and their supportive approach to prevent child care expulsions, as well as their demonstrated commitment to build capacity for systems work in King County communities.

Congratulations to our recent Best Starts awardees!

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