Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) Grant
All of Georgia’s children will be physically, emotionally, and socially healthy, and experience appropriate learning opportunities to reach their optimal potential.
To build and sustain a comprehensive early childhood system through the collaboration of service providers, families, communities, and policymakers.
The primary purpose of the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration’s (MCHB-HRSA) State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grants is to assist states and territories in their efforts to build and implement comprehensive statewide systems of care that support family and community approaches to promote positive early development and early school success for young children. These grants originated with a MCHB-HRSA Strategic Plan for Early Childhood that called on State Title V Maternal and Child Health programs to use their leadership and convening powers to foster the development of cross-agency early childhood systems development planning.
The Georgia ECCS initiative brings together many existing separate programs, systems and funding streams to meld into an integrated system for families of children, ages birth to five. These efforts are important because building a comprehensive early childhood system requires intentional efforts to bridge the gaps created by multiple, discrete funding streams for early childhood services. The Georgia ECCS grant is focused on developing a deliberate framework that fosters integrated early childhood systems at the state and
community levels to support children, ages birth to five, who are healthy and ready to learn. Current systems and services for families of young children remain fragmented and difficult to access. Therefore, without a collaborative, integrated "system of systems"
addressing the needs of children and families, health and educational outcomes will not be optimized for children.
ECCS Grant Five Core Elements
- Access to Health Care and Medical/Dental Home
- Social-Emotional Development and Mental Health
- Early Care and Education
- Parenting Education
- Family Support
Goal 1: State partnerships around ECCS principles and elements are strengthened through collaborative projects, including assessing, prioritizing, and addressing early childhood statewide resources, gaps, and barriers.
Goal 2: All children birth to five receive coordinated, ongoing standardized developmental screening at recommended levels, as well as, when observation yields concerns about delayed or disordered development.
ECCS Steering Committee
Georgia’s ECCS Steering Committee consists of representatives from numerous partnering agencies, all of whom work with or have interest in children ages birth to five and are interested in working to improve the early childhood system in Georgia.
The ECCS Steering Committee:
- Provides community input; has statewide perspective; and includes family leaders;
- Contributes to the effective development and implementation of developmental screening; mapping of resources, gaps, and barriers; and partnership building around strategic ECCS goals; and
- Responds to needs for assistance, leadership and/or input to/from any Standing Committee.
In addition, Steering Committee members:
- Work within their agency to see that their agencies have systems components, such as policies and practices to support best practices around developmental screening; and
- Work within their agency to champion the adoption of evidence-based practices.
ECCS State Team
Georgia’s ECCS State Team consists of representatives from specific US Department of Health and Human Services/Health Resources and Services Administration/Maternal and Child Health Bureau mandated partners, key staff with programmatic leadership and management responsibilities, and other state-identified partners.
The ECCS State Team will engage in collaboration and take collaborative actions to build and improve comprehensive systems. These system building activities may include efforts related to:
- Governance – which may set policy direction for the comprehensive system;
- Financing – which may assure comprehensive quality services based on standards;
- Communications – which may inform families and the public;
- Family leadership development – which may provide parents and other family members opportunities to enhance their leadership skills;
- Provider/practitioner support – which may offer technical assistance and promote professional development;
- Standards – which may reflect effective practices, programs and practitioners and are aligned across the system; and
- Monitoring/accountability – which may track performance and results based on outcomes and standards.
The ECCS State Team focuses on identifying and addressing barriers and system issues emerging from service provision and/or work in their respective ECCS core areas contributing to Children Healthy and Ready to Learn.
They also may, at times, serve as barrier busters if working committees find barriers to accomplishing the ECCS goals.
The ECCS State Team is the Champion of ECCS within their respective agencies. They serve as a communication link between their agency and the work underway through the ECCS grant.
ECCS efforts involve a broad range of public and private agencies and organizations, parents and communities, who share the goal of promoting the health and well-being of children, ages birth to five. ECCS has served as a vehicle for bringing together a tremendous number of people, who are working hard to address all areas of a child’s life that are critical to optimal health and well-being. The goal of the Georgia ECCS initiative is to develop systems that more effectively meet the needs of children and families.