Promoting Healthy Development Work Team

There are currently 1.25 million children under age five in New York State – and most are cared for outside the home. That means early childhood education professionals can play a critical role in the health of young children. The goal of the Promoting Healthy Development Work Group is to build capacity among providers, through training, consultation and opportunities to work more closely with public health programs.

The Promoting Healthy Development work group has identified two products to inform practitioners about the importance of young children's social emotional health.  Using material prepared by the Children’s Institute (Rochester, NY) as a basis, one product or toolkit will be developed to inform the early childhood community about children’s social emotional development, approaches to enhance that development, the importance of early identification and intervention, and resources to explore for additional information. The on-line toolkit will provide a variety of information, including a power point, resources and background documents that can be used in a variety of settings.

The second toolkit, targeted to the medical community, will be similar in format. The emphasis of this product will be on the value of developmental screening of children from six months to three years and the importance early identification and intervention when behavioral issues are detected.

Promoting Healthy Development Work Group activities include:

  • QUALITYstarsNY: Educating community providers, trainers and practitioners, as well as developing and disseminating resources around health, nutrition, physical activity and social emotional development standards for QUALITYstarsNY.
  • Nutrition: Working with the Department of Health, trainers, and early childhood education providers to improve nutrition and physical activity in early childhood education programs. Also, assist in developing policies for program-based nutrition programs, such as the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
  • Developmental screening: Developing and disseminating new resources on social emotional health and collaborating with other agencies to distribute information to increase use of developmental screenings. In addition, incorporating training on developmental screening into physician residency programs.
  • Increased physical activity: Promoting more healthy activity in early childhood programs.
  • Information sharing: Encouraging the exchange of best practices, evidence-based programs and community collaboration among providers around health issues.
  • Child Health Care Consultants: Supporting Child Care Health Consultants through a system of professional development, technical assistance, and network coordination. For more information, click here.


Publications and Resources


Promoting Healthy Development Work Group Membership List: Co-Chairs: Dr. George Askew, Deputy Commissioner of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygien, and Mary McHugh, Director, Bureau of Community Systems, NYS Office of Mental Health.

Promoting Healthy Development Work Plan