A new initiative “Best Starts for Kids” (BSK) is underway in the State of Washington. BSK was initiated to improve the health and well-being of children by investing in programs to help children, families, and communities when and where needed.
To start the program, a strategy utilizing “Child Care Health Consultation” (CCHC) was initiated to ensure that healthy and safe child care environments can exist in communities. CCHC is integrated into licensed child care settings.
The goal is to ensure that complex health concerns, developing care plans for children with chronic medical conditions, or responding to infectious disease outbreaks is encouraged. CCHC services are typically in place to provide tailored consultations, training, and support to child care providers
Various models of CCHC exist across the country including one CCHC delivered by a team at Public Health-Seattle & King Country (PHSKC) in Washington State. The PHSKC CCHC delivers:
- Services provided by a multidisciplinary team that may include nurses, mental health consultants, nutritionists, and/or community health workers
- Training and consultations across a broad range of physical, social, and emotional health needs and concerns
- Trauma informed practices centered in trust, respect, and safety
- On-demand and on-site support to child care providers
Currently, BSK is investing in programs based on the PHSKC CCHC model and in pilot programs based on community informed models. An investment of $ 2 million annually is being investing in the CCHC program in King County.
The funds will be administered in two separate categories to include:
- Public Health Models relying on a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals and follow the best practices of CCHC ($1,000,000)
- Community-Informed Models using approaches designed for and/or implemented in a specific community ($1,000,000)
The Request for Proposal (RFP) titled “Best Start for Kids: Child Care Health Consultation Service Delivery” was recently issued for both the Public Health Model and the Community-Informed program which are open to not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, tribes and tribal organizations, schools and school districts, and public or governmental agencies serving communities in King County. The response to the RFP is due February 28, 2018.
The RFP is going to:
- Expand child care consultation services to more providers and caregivers across King County
- Support the development and maintenance of safe and healthy environments to promote the well-being of all children in care in King County
- Reduce inequities in health outcomes among children in child care
- Provide CCHC services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and responsive
- Build the knowledge skills and understanding of key health and safety concepts of childcare providers across King County
Other CCHC programs are underway or will be operating in other states, such as Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Connecticut.
Go to https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/partnerships/RFP.aspx for more information on the RFP. For more details on the PHSKC CCHC program email Chris D’ Abreau at CPRES-BSK@kingcounty.gov or call 206.263-5900.