Pennsylvania Health Professionals Train Child Care Providers

Program linking children in day care to health services

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (PA AAP) created a public-private partnership known as the Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS) in 1989.

ECELS started a statewide initiative in Pennsylvania to strengthen and improve the health status and prevent injury and disease of children in early childhood education programs.

Key Results

  • ECELS created a statewide network that by 1995 included more than 1,200 volunteer health professionals who provided training and technical assistance on health and safety issues to child-care providers.

  • To support this training, ECELS staff have developed a number of services including:

    • A newsletter distributed quarterly to more than 15,000 child care and health providers throughout Pennsylvania and the United States.
    • An audio-visual lending library.
    • A help line for child-care providers that in 1998 averaged 500 calls a month.
    • Health and safety training programs and curricula for both child-care providers and health professionals.
  • In cooperation with Merck Pharmaceutical's Vaccine Division, ECELS created an Immunization Dose Counter to help child-care providers and licensing inspectors evaluate children's immunization records.

  • The project trained state inspectors to evaluate immunization records and provided technical information to policymakers on immunization issues.


  • ECELS continued to operate with federal block grant funding. ECELS has been the primary source of information, training, and technical assistance on health and safety to child-care facilities throughout Pennsylvania, and is also the licensing agency.
  • ECELS was a prototype for the Healthy Child Care America campaign launched by the federal Administration for Children and Families and MCBH in 1995 and supported in 1996 with federal grants in every state.