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J Pediatr Health Care. 2012 Nov-Dec;26(6):427-35. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2011.05.008. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Use of paid child care health care consultants in early care and education settings: results of a national study comparing provision of health screening services among Head Start and non-Head Start centers.

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Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39759, USA.



Child care health consultants (CCHCs) are health professionals who provide consultation and referral services to child care programs. The use of CCHCs has been recommended as an important component of high-quality child care. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential association between the use of paid CCHCs and child care center director reports of (a) center maintenance of health records and emergency procedures and (b) center facilitation of health screenings and assessments.


A national, randomized telephone survey of directors of 1822 licensed child care center directors was conducted.


With a response rate of 93%, most directors (72.7%) reported that they did not employ a CCHC. However, directors employing CCHCs were more likely to report provision of health-promoting screenings and assessments for children in their center. This pattern held true for both Head Start and non-Head Start centers.


This study suggests that CCHCs can serve as health promotion advocates in early care and education settings, helping centers establish appropriate policies and arranging for health assessments and screenings for children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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