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​Pennsylvania Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Health Integration Prenatal-to-Three Project

In August 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded Pennsylvania approximately $1.2 million to support the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Health Integration Prenatal-to-Three (ECCS) Program. These funds will advance cross-sector collaborations and partnerships, health system improvements, state-level policy and fiscal innovation, equity, and family leadership to promote early developmental health and family well-being among prenatal to three-year-old (P-3) populations. Pennsylvania’s ECCS Project builds the commonwealth's capacity and infrastructure to integrate and strengthen maternal and early childhood systems. Its particular focus on the prenatal-to-age-3 period maximizes the opportunity to reach and support families during the earliest stages of parenting.

Pennsylvania’s ECCS Project coordinates, implements, and sustains an equitable, comprehensive, system that promotes early developmental health and family well-being to increase access to a robust health care system that can meet the complex needs of the P-3 population.

ECCS Project Objectives

  1. State level Early Childhood Leadership Capacity: Increase the number of family and professional leaders engaged in state level maternal and early childhood initiatives.
  2. Coordination and alignment between Maternal Child Health (MCH), Public financing partners, and other Statewide P-3 systems and programs: Develop (or strengthen) and implement a cross-sector-state-level maternal and early childhood strategic plan that integrates health with other prenatal to three (P-3) systems and programs.
  3. Health System capacity to connect families to service continuum: Increase the participation of health providers (including obstetricians and pediatricians) in coordinated intake and referral systems (CIRS) or strengthen data coordination efforts for P-3 population.
  4. Policy and Financing changes: Demonstrate progress towards critical policy and financing changes, as identified in state maternal and early childhood strategic plans.
  5. Health Equity and systemic drivers of disparities: Set specific and measurable P-3 health equity goals in the statewide early childhood plan.

Advancement of Equity within Maternal and Early Childhood Systems

Many families experience significant adversity during the P–3 period or experience significant challenges in providing the safe, nurturing, and engaging environments that young children need to thrive — this contributes to widening disparities and inequities in childhood development, school readiness and achievement, and lifelong health. To ensure, that our efforts are equitable, it is important to engage, recruit and support families so family voices inform Pennsylvania's P-3 services

The ECCS Project recognizes the importance of ensuring the maternal and early childhood system workforce who work with very young children and their families are knowledgeable and skilled in promoting social-emotional development and addressing relational health concerns. ECCS works in collaboration with human services and health systems to continue to promote competency-based workforce development, cross-sector collaboration, and public awareness.

What can you do to support PA's ECCS Project?

  • Share questions or ideas, and connect with the ECCS Leads
  • Talk to your programs and partners and build awareness.
  • Help the ECCS Leads connect with families and programs interested in engaging in project activities.
  • If you are a family member interested in engaging in project activities, contact the ECCS Leads.

Contact Information

Christina Harris, MS 
Early Childhood Lead for Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems 
Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
Phone: 717-787-3891

Sadia Batool
Early Childhood Family Lead for Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems 
Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
Phone: 717-201-7563