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Governor’s Ready to Start Task Force Releases Key Themes and Initial Findings

December 19, 2018

In September, Governor Tom Wolf established the Ready to Start Task Force to develop strategies for addressing health, human services, and education policy for infants and toddlers age zero to three in Pennsylvania. Now the task force has released a report identifying key themes for their work and initial findings.

To inform these findings, the task force convened six regional listening sessions with stakeholders representing health care, human services, education, businesses and employers, foundations, and research organizations. At each session, stakeholders were asked to provide feedback focused on three guiding questions:

  1. How can we improve health outcomes of infants, toddlers, and their families?
  2. How can we strengthen the home environment for infants, toddlers, and their families?
  3. How can we prepare infants and toddlers for future school success?

Based on these sessions, the task force identified six priority areas:

  • Ensuring access to high-quality care for all children and families, especially those with greatest needs
  • Improving system quality and capacity
  • Need for better coordination and alignment of services and supports
  • Importance of outreach, education, and awareness
  • Addressing the needs of the whole child and whole family
  • Helping infants and toddlers get a strong start for school

The task force is led by six co-chairs representing these constituencies:

  • Child development and early childhood education, including Head Start
  • Children with disabilities and their families
  • Foundations and businesses
  • Health and research

David Rubin, MD, MSCE, director of population health innovation and PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is serving as the health and research co-chair.

The task force anticipates releasing a more detailed report with specific strategies during early 2019. 

Caring for such a young population often requires providing support to the entire family. Unfortunately, in Pennsylvania as well as nationally, 50 deaths per 100,000 children still occur. HAP has created an interactive map showing the incidence across Pennsylvania.

For additional information on hospital initiatives to improve population health, contact Robert Shipp, HAP’s vice president, population health strategies.   
 

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