199011 Connecting the Dots in Cleveland County NC: Years 1 - 3

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:20 AM

Anne Short, MBA , Alliance for Health, Cleveland County Health Department, Shelby, NC
Social/emotional and behavioral difficulties not addressed in early childhood result in poor success rates in school, causing a host of social and economic sequelae. Connecting the Dots is a comprehensive model for early intervention that utilizes the existing relationship between the Cleveland County Health Department and community-based out-of-home child care providers and Head Start classrooms. The project operates on four levels. In Level I, a series of trainings based on the Center for the Social and Emotional Foundations of Early Learning program (www.vanderbilt.edu/csefel) are provided to child care and Head Start teachers. In addition, classroom observations and consultations are done by the Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC). In Level II, a two-stage, classroom-based screening of children ages two to five is implemented by child care providers, Head Start teachers, and parents, with guidance and support from the CCHC. Children who screen positively are referred by the CCHC to their primary health care provider for further evaluation and treatment (Level III). Those children who are in need of mental health services are referred to a pediatric mental health professional by the primary provider (Level IV). Data collected include: number of classrooms (both child care center and Head Start) and teachers attending trainings; observable progress in classroom environments, and child screenings, referrals and follow-ups. We have completed two school years of operation and are now well into a third (as of Feb. 2009). We have served over 1,600 children in 23 child care centers and 14 Head Start classrooms.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to compare our program with other local interventions, and will be better able to evaluate other early intervention programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the in-county liaison and manager for this project. I am in frequent contact with the Child Care Health Consultant who administers the program in child care centers, and in weekly contact with UNC-Chapel Hill staff.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.