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ERIC Number: ED496843
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Pages: 28
Abstractor: Author
Framing Early Childhood Development: Strategic Communications and Public Preferences. Building State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Series. Number 7
Gilliam, Franklin D., Jr.; Bales, Susan Nall
UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities
Maternal and child health practitioners often approach systemic change in a very practical manner: fostering a collaborative vision, engaging critical stakeholders, working with policymakers on reform, and bringing the data and experience to inform the process. Systems are often maintained at a status quo due to deep, ingrained structures, relationships, and beliefs about particular service delivery functions, as well as constituencies committed to maintaining existing service delivery structures. The MCHB State Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (SECCS) Initiative embarks upon a process that challenges the current state of disconnected systems of services for young children and their families. The success of the SECCS Initiative will depend upon a strategic approach to planning and communicating a new vision--one that engages all potential partners in a common purpose and process of collaborative reform. The question confronting those interested in systemic reform is: How do you go about getting the public, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to think about this set of issues in such a way that they become motivated to solve them through changes in public policies, programs, and delivery systems? The purpose of this report is to focus on the role that strategic communications approaches can play in helping state MCH programs and their collaborating partners frame their message and influence the way that key constituencies understand early child development and the need for a more functional and comprehensive early childhood service system. Drawing from the rich research literature on mass communications for policy change and their experience in research and consulting, the authors suggest ways in which the principles of strategic communication can be used to move specific issues forward, in this case the issue of early child development and early childhood systems building. Because many in the MCH and child development field may not be familiar with the field of strategic communications, they begin with a brief review of how the field developed and its potential application to early childhood. Includes a strategic communications tool box. [This report is produced by University of California at Los Angeles, Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities; Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), Washington, DC.; and Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. School of Hygiene and Public Health.]
UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. 1100 Glendon Avenue Suite 860, Los Angeles, CA 90024. Tel: 310-794-2583; Fax: 310-794-2728; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Information Analyses
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Washington, DC. Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Authoring Institution: N/A