Federally-Launched “Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!” Initiative Now Available in Expanded Form on Help Me Grow National Center Website

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2018
Media Contact:

Monica Buchanan, Director of Community and Media Relations
(860) 837-5701

Debra Dudack, Communications Specialist
(860) 837-6225

HARTFORD, Conn. – Resources from the federally-launched Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! developmental promotion and screening initiative, which are available to parents, teachers and providers on the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) website and other federal websites, are also now available in extended form on the Help Me Grow National Center website.

In seeking to form a public-private partnership, the primary federal authors of Birth to 5 identified Help Me Grow National Center as the ideal partner to ensure the initiative’s tools and resources remain up-to-date and available to those who can benefit from them. The migration and expansion of the initiative is co-funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health.

Birth to 5 is a coordinated multi-agency federal effort that provides online tools and resources to parents, teachers and providers from the health, early learning and social services sectors. The initiative encourages healthy child development, promotes universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and offers support to families of young children and the providers who care for them.

“Birth to 5 is vital to ensure all children have an opportunity to reach their full developmental potential, so we applaud our federal partners for establishing a public-private partnership to expand the availability of these materials as well as their reach,” said Kimberly Martini-Carvell, executive director of Help Me Grow National Center. “There is tremendous synergy between the goals of Birth to 5 and the goals of Help Me Grow. We are honored to make these documents available through our Help Me Grow National Center website and look forward to enhancing them to strengthen outcomes for children.”

As part of this partnership, Help Me Grow National Center will:

  • Develop new co-branded materials for parents, teachers, providers and other stakeholders to utilize; update and revise new and existing materials
  • Expand reach of materials through its affiliate network; collect data on use and reach
  • Weave materials into a comprehensive system model that embraces health promotion, developmental surveillance and screening, and the importance of linking children and families to available community-based services
  • Ensure the initiative remains current and sustainable

“We are pleased to feature Birth to 5 on our Help Me Grow National Center website, as its information is crucial to informing parents, teachers, providers and other stakeholders about developmental milestones,” said Paul Dworkin, MD, executive vice president for community child health at Connecticut Children’s and founding director of Help Me Grow National Center. “Evidence-based research clearly shows early detection and intervention for developmental and behavioral concerns can prevent children from falling onto delayed or disordered trajectories, and provides a cost-effective path towards achieving optimal health and developmental outcomes.”

Birth to 5 was developed as a partnership among such notable federal agencies as Administration for Children and Families; Administration for Community Living; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid; Health Resources and Services Administration; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services; and Office of Special Education Programs at the Department of Education.

“Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! was an unprecedented federal interagency effort to promote awareness of child development, developmental and behavioral screening, referral and follow up,” said Camille Smith, EdS, MS, an educational psychologist with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign. “We are thrilled to enter into a partnership with Help Me Grow providing a model of system integration and expanding the reach of the initiative’s materials to parents, teachers and providers who serve young children. This partnership will help make sure all of our youngest children and families receive the services and supports they need as early as possible.”

Help Me Grow National Center is part of Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health, which strengthens children, families, physician practices and communities to promote children’s optimal healthy development. Help Me Grow National Center offers technical assistance to more than 25 state affiliates operating 99 Help Me Grow systems that promote early detection of developmental or behavioral concerns in young children before conditions reach diagnosable levels. Families receive care coordination through a centralized access point and are referred and linked to community-based services that can intervene when treatments are less-expensive and most effective. In addition to advancing the Help Me Grow system model through its affiliate network, Help Me Grow National Center supports the identification and diffusion of system enhancement innovations across its affiliate network, which acts as a poised community of practice operating refined early childhood systems that serve as a laboratory to test and perfect novel practices and strategies.

About Connecticut Children’s Medical Center:

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. With a medical staff of more than 1,000, Connecticut Children’s provides comprehensive, world-class health care in more than 30 pediatric specialties and subspecialties. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a not-for-profit organization, which serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for the UConn School of Medicine, has a teaching partnership with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University and is a research partner of The Jackson Laboratory. Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health is a national leader in community-based prevention and wellness programs.

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