Issue Five

June 2011

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Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates  

In This Issue
Universal Screening Initiative Takes Off
In Case You've Missed It:...Here is the...QUALITYstarsNY video

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Greetings! In this issue, Evelyn Blanck, Co-chair of the Strong Families Work Group, describes the group's strategies for implementing a universal screening initiative in NY State.  Check out these plans and see how they support the vision of the ECAC for developing young children who are healthy, learning and thriving in families that are supported by a full complement of services and resources essential for successful development.


And, in Announcements, we showcase a new resource for parenting education and a study on the benefits of quality early learning programs.  As always, please send ideas or comments to  We want to hear from you! 

Universal Screening Initiative Takes Off


The Strong Families Work Group is spearheading a statewide initiative on universal screening of young children and their families. The purpose of the project is to develop screening systems that would identify children and families experiencing problems as early as possible so that needed interventions could be provided that would potentially avoid more costly treatment services.  As an initial step, with the support of the BUILD Initiative, the Work Group surveyed other states to determine best practices and models.  The Work Group has decided that the initial focus will be on conducting child developmental screening in primary care using standardized tools for all children at ages 9 months, 18 months and 30 months.  This effort would be in keeping with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines and would facilitate early referral and services for better outcomes for children.


The intent is that although the initial focus will be on developmental screening, it will create the platform to screen children and families for other key areas such as social emotional development and maternal depression, and to assess family risks and needs for supports and services.


In May, representatives from the Work Group met with the Medicaid Redesign Team to discuss the critical importance and long term cost savings of developmental screening and to discuss how to use Medicaid Redesign to help drive and support system change. Click here to read the entire article.

In Case You've Missed It:

Here is the QUALITYstarsNY video


Winning Beginning NY and Citizen Action New York are involved in a campaign to support and implement QUALITYstarsNY.


Click here to view the "What is QUALITYstarsNY" video -- a delightful and informative description of the potential of quality rating systems in general and QUALITYstarsNY in particular. 


For more information and to join the campaign, go to:




Parenting Education Database Goes Live!


NYSPEP (NYS Parenting Education Partnership) has recently launched a database of parenting education programs that parents can search by child's age, type of parent (i.e. grandparent, adoptive, father, etc), parenting challenge, and preferred location.   This resource can be accessed at:  Two members of the ECAC and the Strong Families Work Group, Chris Deyss and Liz Hood, are members of the NYSPEP Management Team.


New Study Confirms Quality Pays Off: Preschool Kids Less Likely to Grow Up as Criminals


An article from the Public News Service highlighted a new study in the journal Science, that has found that children who attended preschool had a lower rate of incarceration as adults than children who did not attend early learning programs. 


The article quotes ECAC Member Meredith Wiley, Executive Director of NYS Fight Crime, Invest in Kids, who noted that it is high-quality  early learning programs that make the difference in results for children, and cited QUALITYstarsNY as the system that would ensure high quality for children in New York State .  Check out the full article that describes the study.


Thank you for your interest in the Early Childhood Advisory Council. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me at:


Regina Canuso

Project Manager 

NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council

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