Aligning Health and Early Learning Systems

This guidance supports sates and communities in their efforts to better coordinate, align, and enhance health and early learning systems to promote the healthy development, early learning, and well-being of all children from birth to Kindergarten entry in the United States. This statement is intended for State and local policy-makers and administrators of systems, agencies, and programs responsible for children’s health, social-emotional development, and early learning to understand their role and take steps to improve the integration of services for young children.

Recent advancements in health care access and service delivery, coupled with increased public investment in early learning provide an opportunity to more comprehensively address how our health and early learning systems work together to address children’s needs. This statement provides program recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to improve young children's access to needed services and transform service delivery systems to improve the health and early learning outcomes for all children.

This joint guidance document aims to:

  • Highlight the importance of aligning and coordinating early childhood health and early learning systems so that together they establish a solid foundation for school-readiness as well as long- term health for all children.
  • Provide recommendations and guidance to States and communities to promote the alignment and coordination of health and early learning systems.
  • Identify resources and share promising practices that inform and support States, communities, and families in collaborative efforts to provide a foundation for healthy development and well-being in early childhood.

Read the full Guidance Document (PDF)


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