National (Child Care) Resource Centers

The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation is located at Georgetown University. It was created through a grant from the federal Office of Head Start, this center's website is richly populated with Tutorials about promoting social-emotional development, Stress Reduction information, Tool Kits for making observations, and Tools to address Temperament. For example, the tutorial about Recognizing and Supporting the Social-Emotional Health of Young Children, Birth to Age 5 not only provides the usual developmental landmarks, but also uses scenarios to suggest how to handle challenging behaviors in each stage. The tool kits have a variety of checklists to record observations of social-emotional behaviors for a group or for individual children. The intended users of the materials include Head Start administrators and staff as well as trainers, technical assistance providers, and health consultants. Some materials are suitable for parent use as well. 1/2012 

The Federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) originally established the ECLKC website to serve Head Start. ACF and the programs that ACF funds have expanded the content to encompass information useful to all types of child care. The ECLKC sections are: Families, Quality Teaching and Learning, Cultural and Liguistic Responsiveness, Early Head Start, Program Management and Fiscal Operation, Health, and Parent, Family and Community Engagement. 2-2016

The website of the Early Head Start National Resource Center has many useful materials and ideas for early learning practitioners working with infants and toddlers, preschool age children and even some for school age children incenters and home-based programs, and not just Early Head Start. ECELS especially recommends the tip sheets listed below. Go to the section on EHSNRC Products, and then to the Tip Sheets in English. See Tip Sheets # 7-Defining “Registered Dietician” and “Nutritionist”; # 18-Oral Health Care for Infants & Young Children; # 20-Sleeping Arrangements; # 34-Working with Teen Parents; # 35-Social & Emotional Development and the Pyramid Model of Support; # 36-What are Challenging Behaviors When Working with Infants and Toddlers; and #37-Supporting Plans for Challenging Behaviors. The site also has a few good webcasts which are video presentations that you can watch online. 12/2012 

The national resource center of Healthy Child Care America is located at the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is a great source of information about news and "best practices" from state and national early education and care professionals and advocates. It offers a resource library, workshop curricula, webinars and much more. 12/2012

 The National Center on Child Care Quality Improvement provides technical assistance to support Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) State and Territory grantees, helping them develop and enhance quality improvement initiatives. These include quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS.) QRIS are built on a foundation of strengthening licensing and health and safety standards. Expert staff members work with CCDF grantees to help them reach their State and Territory plan quality goals. They also identify and share research-based promising practices. In addition the center staff work with Child Care Technical Assistance Network Partner staff and Office of Head Start personnel to address early childhood-related cross-sector system issues and to identify knowledge gaps and leading-edge questions. Many useful reports are available on this national center's website. Reports include use of quality improvement approaches, state-by-state data of child:staff ratios and teacher/caregiver qualifications, and numbers of licensed center and family hild care facilities. Another example of their work is the cross-walk tool that compares by topic  the standards for accreditation, Head Start, Caring for Our Children, 3rd edition health and safety standards, and Department of Defense. The cross-walk is intended to enable users to foster common approaches and diminish the burden of conforming with differing requirements.  1/2014

This federally-funded center (NRC) was established by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. It is the home of Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care, Third Edition. 2011. This key national reference document is regularly updated online. It provides widely-used standards, rationale, and evidence for guidelines for out-of-home child care. While it is available in print, the version on the Internet is most up-to-date.  NRC staff maintains a network of national experts to review proposed updates and respond to questions about the standards. 12/2016

NTI was a federally funded national center at University of North Carolina School of Public Health to teach instructors of health professionals how to provide health consultation in early education and child care. The home page still has useful  links for both child care health consultants and early educators. There is a brief video about the role of the Child Care Health Consultant, a curriculum about oral health called "Healthy Smiles," a manual "Making Food Healthy and Safe" about how to implement the standards for food and nutrition from Caring for Our Children, and other tools.  Graduates of NTI can access a large library of updated curricula and tool kits to teach health and safety topics, with PowerPoints, lesson plans, and activities now archived at the National Center for Education in MCH at http://ncemch.org/child-care-health-consultants/index.php .. Updated 2/2016