The Massachusetts Early Comprehensive Childhood Systems (MECCS) Impact Project, funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and led by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is currently being evaluated by Dr. Beth Molnar and her team at the IHESJR. The MDPH team collaborators include Kate Roper, Director, Early Childhood Services and Eve Wilder, Project Director, MA Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Project.
The overall aim of the MECCS project is to demonstrate a 25 percent increase from baseline in age appropriate developmental skills among three-year-old children in two selected Massachusetts communities, Chelsea and Springfield.
This is being accomplished through three main activities:
1) establishment of community-based Collective Impact Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CI CoIIN) Teams that utilize two-generation approaches to improve the integration of early childhood services and test innovative strategies to improve developmental health and family well-being using quality improvement techniques;
2) strengthening the existing partnership with the state ECCS advisory team, the Young Children’s Council (YCC), to provide overall leadership and guidance to the community teams and to identify policy changes to support early childhood systems of care;
3) and development of a state-level early childhood data system to track process and outcome indicators related to child development and family well-being. The project is taking place over three cohorts with distinct aims from December 2016 to May 2023. The state team is involved in activities throughout the three cohorts, while the community teams participated in the first cohort, and have the option to participate in one or both of the second and third cohorts.
The MECCS Impact evaluation is examining project performance to monitor overall progress toward increasing age-appropriate developmental skills and family well-being, assess compliance to the collective impact process and rigorous quality improvement methodology, assure accountability of project staff, and inform change. Evaluation findings are frequently shared with stakeholders and used throughout the project to identify barriers to progress and opportunities to improve performance and to sustain improvements over time.