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SD ECCS February 2024 Update

February 2024 SD Early Childhood Comprehensive System Update

Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: ECCS

Ensuring a strong start for all children can reduce vulnerabilities and prevent ACEs, but it requires collaboration and co-ownership of strategies and solutions. Thank you for your interest in the South Dakota ECCS Collaborative that aims to increase our shared understanding and ability to strengthen the comprehensive early childhood and health landscape to ensure a strong start for our youngest South Dakotans, prenatal-to-3. This newsletter will provide updates on ECCS activities and also provide external learning opportunities, resources and news.

Let’s Connect!

If you would like to learn more about the SD ECCS efforts, provide feedback, or share more about your efforts to ensure a strong start for South Dakota’s youngest children, please email [email protected]. We’re especially interested in learning where you see your work falling within the broader goals and strategies developed through the SD ECCS Strategic Planning Process. Are you already working on some of these goals and strategies–or could they be included in your current plans? We’re here to listen, learn, and build a stronger start for SD children together.

SD ECCS Bright Lights Series

Innovative collaborations are happening across South Dakota’s early childhood landscape. Watch this page for monthly videos spotlighting SD ECCS “Bright Lights.” Our first video will be released during the last week of the month and will feature a collaboration in Brookings between the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Avera Behavioral Health, and TEND. Please also use the above link to share your work.

WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project

The WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project is implementing several of the strategies found in the ECCS Strategic Plan, including amplifying the voice of parents, cross-training parents, and reducing barriers to program participation. Of note this month:

  • A searchable Family Resource page funded through WIC-CIAO is now live (beta) at https://familyresources.helplinecenter.org. Resources may be sorted by zip code and type. The curated page pulls from 2-1-1 Helpline Center’s database, so please encourage those who serve South Dakota children and families to keep their listings updated. The page will soon be available in 10 languages. (ECCS Goal 3)
  • Free transportation in Sioux Falls for WIC participants. Rides are available to and from the WIC Clinic and WIC-approved grocery stores. Call 2-1-1 the day before to schedule. (ECCS Goal 3)
  • Library Outreach Events are scheduled in Sioux Falls on March 21, April 4, and April 16. The purpose of these events is to provide families with information about free or low-cost resources or events, and, when possible, to assist with any paperwork needed to access them (ECCS Goal 3). Email [email protected] if your organization would like to participate (ECCS Goal 3).
  • Trainings for those working with parents and families. See https://sdcpcm.com/our-work/wic/ to register for several upcoming trainings, including Working with Interpreters (2/20), Culturally Competent Outreach and Engagement (3/5), and a Poverty Simulation (3/7) (ECCS Goal 2). Email [email protected] if you would like to bring the cultural competency trainings to your setting. Support is available through October 2024.

Engaging Family Leaders

Karissa Duran, Britney Blue Legs, Darbi Hunt and Darla Biel will present on the importance of family voice at the 2024 HOPE Summit. Karissa and Britney are members of the ECCS Family Leadership group, Darbi is the ECCS Family Lead, and Darla is the ECCS Lead.


Maternal American Indian Rural Community Health (MARCH) Center of Excellence 2024 Summit
Avera Research Institute’s first annual summit will be held March 19-20 in-person at The Box Events Center in Box Elder, SD. The day of collaborative learning is intended to benefit researchers, healthcare professionals, and community partners with a vested interest in maternal health. Learn more and register for the free event here.

Holding the Baby in Mind — Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Guiding Principles in Practice
Zero to Three is offering a new series that explores Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. This series will provide information about the latest strategies and knowledge to support the mental well-being of the youngest in our communities. Register for free here. Note: You will need to register an account with Zero to Three LEARN.

Birth Equity Action Map
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) recently released the Birth Equity Action Map, an interactive system mapping tool that describes urgent actions needed by specific system to improve birth equity and highlights where in the system funders can use their leverage to accelerate efforts. The map was co-created by AMCHP, the University of North Caroline (UNC) Gillings School of Global Public Health, Vijaya K Hogan (VKH) Consulting LLC, and 48 other diverse partners, representing federal, national, state, local, and community-based birth equity partners to identify the systemic barriers and opportunities to strengthen the birth equity ecosystem. Explore the map.

We Can’t Do It Alone: Strategies for State and Local Coordination on Prenatal-to-Three Efforts
To promote efficiency and cooperation across levels of government, the National Association of Counties Research Foundation, the National League of Cities and the National Conference of State Legislatures have teamed up to develop a learning series and a guidebook, We Can’t Do It Alone, to strengthen alignments between state, county and city governments to better coordinate prenatal-to-three (PN-3) agendas in their communities. The resources are available here.

Share your news!

If you are working collaboratively across sectors to ensure a strong start for South Dakota’s children, especially prenatally up to age 3yo, please send your updates to [email protected]. We’d love to learn more and help raise awareness of your efforts and successes.