Encompass Blog

New Encompass program: free health and wellness consultations for child care providers

October 8, 2018  |  Community, News and Announcements, Pediatric Therapy  |  By Caitlin Young

Woman and four children sitting reading together

Starting this fall, Encompass is offering a new service to help foster the healthy development of ALL children in our community. Funded by a grant from King County’s Best Starts for Kids program, we are now providing free guidance and support to licensed center-based and family home child care programs as well as preschool programs and family, friends and neighbors who care for children. Our goal is to empower child care providers to nurture the healthy development and school readiness of children in their care.

The Encompass Child Care Health Consultation (CCHC) team includes an early childhood specialist, a mental health specialist, a family resource coordinator, a nutritionist, and support from speech, occupational, and physical therapists. The team also includes me, a public health nurse hired specifically to oversee this important new service to our community.

So what does the CCHC team do?

We provide support, guidance, and resources for child care providers in any of the following areas:

Child Development
In the area of child development, we can provide Ages and Stages (ASQ) developmental screening training, materials, and follow-up referrals. The ASQ is a set of questions about children’s development that has been used for more than 20 years to make sure children are developing appropriately. A screening like the ASQ provides a quick look at how children are doing in important areas, such as communication, physical ability, social skills, and problem-solving skills. It can help identify a child’s strengths as well as any areas where a child may need support. Along with the ASQ, we can provide strategies to support children’s emotional and behavioral health.

School Readiness
Promoting healthy child development goes beyond identifying potential delays. We can help give you the tools you need to best support the positive behaviors, social-emotional development, and early brain development that are crucial for success in preschool and kindergarten.

Healthcare Needs
To support physical health, we can provide assistance with immunization and Well Child Exam schedules, medication management, and illness prevention. To help build healthy habits from an early age, we can help develop appropriate physical and outdoor activities, and our nutritionist can assist with meal planning, menu review, and food safety. We can also provide strategies and support for working with children with special health care needs so that providers feel empowered to safely and adequately care for all children in their care.

Infant Care
We can help with best practices in infant care, including feeding tips, safe sleep information, and strategies for promoting early brain development.

Facility Safety
To make sure children are free to learn and play in a safe environment, we can help advise on how to prevent exposure to toxins in the child care setting, provide program health and safety assessments, and assist in developing health, emergency and disaster preparedness policies and procedures.

Connection to Resources
The driving idea behind the CCHC team is that the we in the community can—and should—work together to ensure the healthy development of children. We can help connect you with other community resources, education and training that is helpful and relevant for you. We can also help identify informational resources for families to empower them to take active roles in their children’s journeys.

How do I get the CCHC team to help me?

We are available by phone, email, and will be out in the community! You can also fill out an interest form on our website here. We are happy to come visit your child care in person. We look forward to talking with you soon!

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