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Keywords:

  • child care health consultation;
  • child health;
  • health advocates;
  • health consultants;
  • organizations;
  • public health

ABSTRACT Objective: To summarize findings from a descriptive evaluation study of 20 county-level child care health consultation programs, services provided, and factors that facilitated the development of the programs.

Design: A 3-year intervention study of 20 county-level child care health consultation programs, selected through a competitive review process, was conducted in California.

Sample: Study participants were the child care health consultation program staff, lead agency administrators and health consultants, and early care and education (ECE) staff, including health advocates and directors.

Measurement and Intervention: Data collection included focus groups, interviews, consultant activity logs, and surveys. Health consultation intervention services included health and safety assessments, on-site consultation, and workshops for ECE providers and parents.

Results: 4 child care health consultation models were established based on the type of administrative agency. Health consultants and advocates primarily provided on-site consultation and education and training on child health promotion issues. Consultation programs were facilitated by the linkages formed among agencies, community characteristics, personal relationships, lead agency support, and consultant training and knowledge.

Conclusions: Child care health consultation programs can address the health and safety needs for ECE programs, but they need administrative support, trained staff, and sustainable relationships with local ECE programs.