The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, which administers Florida MIECHV, was awarded a five-year federal Early Comprehensive Childhood Systems (ECCS) Impact grant to strengthen coordination of developmental screening by home visiting and early learning programs in Miami and Jacksonville.
The initiative aims to achieve a 25% improvement in the age-appropriate developmental skills of three-year olds residing in participating communities.
The Miami Children’s Initiative, a catalyst for addressing early child development in the Liberty City area, and the New Town Success Zone, which focuses on improving children’s outcomes in a high-need area of Jacksonville, will serve as implementation sites.
The project will build on current state efforts and partnerships to improve the developmental health of young children and family well-being in high-need neighborhoods through Florida MIECHV, Florida Help Me Grow, local Early Learning Coalitions and Early Head Start, Title V, federal and state Healthy Start, community residents and funders. Efforts will focus on improving the linkage and coordination between two specific components of the early childhood sector: home visiting and early learning with a goal of identifying developmental delays and intervening as early as possible. The project will also strengthen screening for perinatal depression, a key risk parental risk factor impacting healthy child development.
The initiative will utilize a Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) approach to build collective impact and contribute to changes in policies, protocols and service delivery by supporting systems development from the ground up.
FAHSC will receive $426,000 annually during the project period. The grant, which begins August 1st, was one of 10 awarded nationally.