Building a Comprehensive System for Babies

Jan 27, 2011

A new resource from CLASP is available to guide states in building a comprehensive and coordinated infant/toddler system. 

Quality early childhood programs address the full range of child development needs through provision or referral to a set of services, which include health and nutrition, family support, early intervention, and other comprehensive services. Early Head Start provides a model for delivering these services to infants and toddlers and their families. Yet, the federal program only serves a fraction of eligible children. Some states have built on this model with their own state-EHS programs. But other states lack the resources or ability to do. 

States can, however, use EHS as a model and expand the reach of high quality early childhood services for infants and toddlers and their families by drawing on existing resources to build a more comprehensive and coordinated state system that can deliver a package of high-quality services to vulnerable families. 

Every state has the pieces of a comprehensive early childhood system in place already. This tool will help state leaders locate and build them into a system that meets the needs of children and families, by helping them identify: 1) the essential components of state systems to support vulnerable babies and their families, and 2) action steps to design and implement a comprehensive infant/toddler system.

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