Building Early Childhood Systems

Many states and communities are working to bridge the gaps that exist within the fragmented array of services available to families raising young children. GUCCHD is a national leader in early childhood systems-building through our affiliation with the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health (NTAC). Our Early Childhood Team provides technical assistance to state and local leaders across the country who are striving to develop effective early childhood systems.

What is an Early Childhood System?

An early childhood system involves more than discrete and separate services, programs, or structures located in a defined geographic area. In contrast, it provides a coordinated network of comprehensive services and supports that meet the overall health and developmental needs of young children in the context of their culture. An early childhood system also recognizes that to optimize child outcomes, families of young children must be supported through access to adequate housing, jobs, parenting support and education, health care, and adult mental health services.

Our Major Activities

Systems of Care

The National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health, in collaboration with the Technical Assistance Partnership, provides support to communities funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to build systems of care for children with emotional disabilities. The Early Childhood Team works closely with communities focused on serving young children and their families.

Project LAUNCH

Project LAUNCH provides grants to states, tribes and territories to promote the wellness of young children birth to age 8 through implementation of evidence-based practices and programs. GUCCHD's Early Childhood Team, in partnership with colleagues at the Education Development Corporation (EDC) and the American Institutes of Research (AIR), provide training and technical assistance to help state or tribal grantees and their designated communities build a public health system that meets the comprehensive needs of young children and their families.

Bright Futures

Bright Futures is a national initiative designed to advance child health, development and well-being. Using Bright Futures materials as well as additional resources specific to social and emotional development, GUCCHD faculty provide training and technical assistance to child care providers, home visitors, social workers, and other professionals who provide services to children and families in homes and community settings.



Contact Information

Neal Horen
Co-Director, Training and Technical Assistance

Core Funding

Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)