- This article describes Children’s Futures, a 10-year initiative in Trenton, N.J., that seeks to improve the health and well-being of children from 0 to 3 years old and ensure that they are ready for school.
- During the first five years, the initiative was successful in implementing a number of evidence-based practices to improve children’s health, such as providing home visits to pregnant women, measuring and improving the quality of day care centers, and improving the use of information systems to track childhood immunizations.
- Efforts to provide services for fathers and improve home-based child care were not successful; these are areas in which there are not any evidence-based practices.
- Leveraging public and private money beyond the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s substantial $20 million commitment proved challenging because the foundation’s commitment was so large. The authors recommend obtaining agreements for matching funds prior to finalizing commitments.
- A lack of attention to initiative-wide communications hindered integration across programs.
- A need for a citywide data system was identified; this is being implemented in the second five-year funding cycle.
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