Child care health consultants (CCHCs) are health professionals with education and experience in child and community health. They are an invaluable resource for early care and education programs. CCHCs support programs by providing expertise in a variety of areas such as increasing staff knowledge on health issues and improving compliance with best practices. Learn more about CCHCs and how they can support programs.
How can a CCHC support early care and education programs?
A child care health consultant (CCHC) combines health expertise with knowledge of early care and education best practices to help programs ensure healthy and safe learning environments. They do this by:
- Helping programs understand children’s healthy growth and development and how to address children’s health conditions
- Writing or reviewing policies and procedures
- Observing health and safety practices and helping programs prevent illness and injuries
- Providing training for staff and families
- Facilitating referrals to community health and social service resources
- Assisting programs with quality improvement strategies
Scientific research supports the importance of a CCHC
Studies1 have confirmed that CCHCs improve the health and safety of children in early care and education programs by:
- Increasing staff knowledge of health issues in child care settings
- Increasing compliance with health and safety best practice standards
- Improving the quality of health and safety policies and practices, including handwashing, sanitation, and safe sleep practices
- Increasing the number of children who receive oral, developmental, vision, and hearing screenings and assessments
- Improving children’s access to a medical home, enrollment in health insurance, and up-to-date immunization status
- Strengthening environmental health practices
- Promoting the inclusion of children with special health care needs
What is a CCHC?
A CCHC is a health professional with education and experience in child and community health who also has specific training in early care and education and child care health consultation. In some states, regulations determine who can be a CCHC.
CCHCs collaborate with directors, teachers, and family child care providers to improve the overall quality of care.
Visit the Child Care Health Consultants page on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) for resources related to child care health consultation, including tips for working with a CCHC, CCHC competencies, interactive skill-building modules, and more. If you are not sure how to find a CCHC, contact your state child care resource and referral agency or local health department.
1 Please see page 25 of the Child Care Health Consultant Competencies for a full list of references related to the benefits of using a CCHC.
Topic: Health Services Management
National Centers:Early Childhood Health and Wellness
Last Updated: March 18, 2020