Help Me Grow- Long Island

Early identification of developmental delays and social emotional challenges along with prompt, supported referrals to appropriate services are key to school readiness and lifelong health. However, rates of appropriate developmental surveillance and screening are unacceptably low nationally–and particularly low in New York. Docs for Tots’ experience on Long Island has confirmed low rates of developmental surveillance and screening by primary care providers and other important access points to our youngest children. Additionally, our work has revealed significant challenges in effectively linking children at high-risk of developmental and emotional problems to existing services. Replication and implementation of evidence-based models is the most effective way to create a real difference in children’s lives, making Help Me Grow the perfect solution.

Help Me Grow (HMG) is a community impact model designed to identify children at risk for emotional and/or developmental problems, and builds upon existing resources to support early detection of developmental concerns, celebrate the growth of young children, and link families to the supports and services that help children thrive from birth to age five. Its core components include child health care provider outreach, community outreach, centralized telephone access point, and data collection.

Help Me Grow – Long Island (HMG-LI) is a partnership that will serve all families under the age of five, providing integration and coordination among the many excellent resources on Long Island. By optimizing the linkages for children with developmental concerns, children across Long Island will be entering kindergarten ready to thrive.

HMG-LI’s goal is to be a sustainable partnership that continually adjusts to the needs of the early childhood community on Long Island. The model has been implemented in 51 communities in over 20 states and has been shown to improve access to services for children at risk, improve parenting protective factors, encourage collaboration across sectors, and lower medical costs at both state and county levels.

Help Me Grow- Western New York (HMG-WNY), which is New York State’s first HMG community, has been engaged in this work since 2008 and is now working in close collaboration with the HMG-LI partnership to support efforts to establish this new affiliate. HMG –LI is grateful to WNY for their leadership and support in bringing this innovation to New York State.

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Investing in quality early learning programs is the most efficient way to affect school and life success and to reduce social expenditures later.

James Heckman, economist, Nobel laureate