Building Capacity for Change: A Playbook for Growing Early Childhood Reform Programs Using a Collective Impact Framework

Download Report

September 18, 2023

Melodie Baker
Brian D. Backstrom

Executive Summary

This Building Capacity for Change “playbook” highlights practices and strategies that proved to be effective in supporting the rollout and implementation of certain programs under the New York State Department of Health’s First 1,000 Days on Medicaid Initiative, a series of evidence-based reforms aimed at improving health and social outcomes for expectant parents, young children, and their families. Recognizing that advancing the health and well-being of the state’s youngest citizens requires a well-coordinated comprehensive strategy, the Rockefeller Institute of Government partnered with the Department of Health (DoH) to develop and incorporate a framework of collective impact—bringing the strengths and resources of organizations across program and policy sectors together to work toward a shared goal—for selected reforms that were being piloted in target communities across the state.

This playbook is designed as a guide for Medicaid providers and other early childhood health practitioners, local community organizations, and state policymakers on how collective impact strategies can be used to promote cross-sector coordination and align resources in ways that advance maternal and early childhood outcomes. Wisdom and evidence gained from working with providers, partner organizations, and families in the field as these Medicaid reforms were rolled out are discussed, and supporting data and project outcomes resulting from efforts embracing a strategic collective impact approach are presented.

Findings of the Rockefeller Institute’s First 1,000 Days on Medicaid Partnership Project include the following:

  • In the initial half-year following the full-scale launch of the early literacy initiative, seven clinical practice locations took part in the pilot program, implementing, expanding, and/or enhancing the Reach Out and Read program. These sites conducted 9,000 well-child visits (for children aged zero to five), six times the anticipated service numbers.
  • Nearly 7,300 books were distributed to young children in these six months, more than double the projected distribution for an entire year.
  • Home visitation programming to families with children zero to three increased by more than 10 percent during the first year of implementation of reform activity in pilot sites.
  • The number of families that were identified as eligible and connected to early childhood health resources increased by more than 20 percent.
  • A cross-sector referral system designed to increase comprehensive care and coordination was established in four counties to share information between community organizations, Medicaid service providers, and families.
  • All programs piloted in sites working with the Rockefeller Institute’s First 1,000 Days on Medicaid Partnership Project expanded their local partnership scope beyond that initially targeted by the Department of Health.
  • Multiple periodic learning collaboratives—which brought together participating service providers and partner organizations to discuss challenges, reveal solutions, and share best practices—posted a satisfaction rate of 100 percent for these sessions.

Read the full report here.