New Report: Child Care Health Consultation and Upcoming Webinar Opportunity to Learn More

Child Care Health Consultation (CCHC) is a Best Starts strategy that promotes the health, safety, and development of children and child care providers in child care settings. Child care health consultants provide culturally and linguistically responsive coaching to licensed and non-licensed child care providers across a variety of topics.  

In 2019, Cardea began a collaborative process for a deeper evaluation of the new Best Starts CCHC strategy by exploring:

1) types of CCHC services,

2) how CCHC services and unique approaches contribute to provider outcomes, and

3) how CCHC services have been developed, implemented, and revised over time.

To learn more about the evaluation findings over time, visit our reports page to see all published full reports and executive summaries including the most recent report which covers the full scope of the three year evaluation process and findings.  

Cardea is hosting an upcoming webinar on Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am Pacific Time to present their findings. To register, please email Jessamyn Findlay, Child Care Health Consultation Program Manager, at

Child Care Health Consultation Final Evaluation Report

Emerging themes from the 2019 evaluation led to continued evaluation through early 2022 to expand on these themes and explore common elements of CCHC; the impact of service delivery on child, family, and provider outcomes; and to estimate the number of children receiving care from child care providers who received CCHC services. The timeline of the evaluation also presented a unique opportunity to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on CCHC service delivery and outcomes, as well as the myriad ways in which CCHC consultation service delivery was adapted in response to the pandemic. 

As highlighted in the final evaluation report, there were 14,319 consultations completed between April 2019 and March 2022, with an average of about 1,000 consultations per quarter and 338 group trainings. These consultations and trainings served 1,366 unique providers across 620 individual child care locations, with an average of two providers per location receiving services. The number of individual consultations decreased slightly in 2020, due to challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and rose again in 2021.  

The pandemic required consultants to quickly adapt CCHC service delivery from in-person to virtual consultations and respond to the shifting needs of child care providers. During the pandemic, providers faced new challenges with managing and adhering to rapidly changing and sometimes vague health and safety guidelines, addressing large fluctuations in child care enrollment, staffing challenges, lack of access to resources and basic needs like personal protective equipment (PPE), and navigating personal, staff, child, and family emotional stress and grief. 

The community-oriented focus of CCHC service delivery supported child care providers through these challenges. Consultants distributed health and safety guidance, connected providers to resources, shared vital information about vaccinations, provided mental health support, supported the development of policies such as cleaning protocols and returning to care after being sick, suggested activities that providers could safely implement in the classroom in alignment with health and safety guidelines, and continuously sought new resources and tools to meet emerging needs. Providers reported their strong, long-standing relationships with consultants helped them to provide supportive consultation services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

CCHC services had similar positive outcomes across the variety of consultation service delivery approaches and diverse settings in which child care is provided. Through surveys, focus groups, and interviews, child care providers who received consultation services reported: 

  • Learning new developmentally appropriate ways to interact with children including strategies to support children’s behavior  
  • Implementing new nutrition practices 
  • Increasing their capacity to support children with special needs 
  • Improving their interpersonal relationships with children and families 
  • Gaining additional referral resources 
  • Receiving personal health and wellness support 

To better understand how positive outcomes among child care providers may influence positive outcomes for children and families in child care, Cardea invited parents and caregivers with children enrolled in child care with a provider receiving CCHC services to participate in focus groups or interviews. Parents and caregivers discussed ways in which they experienced their children growing, learning, and engaging in the child care learning environment: 

Best Starts continues to invest in the CCHC strategy to ensure that services remain accessible and culturally and linguistically responsive for child care providers in King County while also expanding access to Latinx, Afro-Indigenous, and Afro-Hispanic communities. 

Read the CCHC full report and executive summary.

Thank You and Register for our Upcoming Webinar

We appreciate the 2019-2022 Best Starts CCHC partners and the providers they serve and thank them for their roles in this evaluation: Chinese Information Service Center, Encompass Northwest, Kindering Center, Living Well Kent, Northwest Center for Kids, Sisters in Common, and Somali Health Board. 

Cardea is hosting an upcoming webinar on Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 10:00 am – 11:00 am Pacific Time to present their findings. To register, please email Jessamyn Findlay, Child Care Health Consultation Program Manager, at

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