For more information and media inquiries, contact Rachael Stoffel via rstoffel@child360.org

Child360 Selected to Lead Evaluation of Heluna Health’s Nationally Recognized Little by Little School Readiness Program

Research seeks to assess school readiness among low-income children in the program

Child360, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting early learning from every angle, was selected by Heluna Health (the new PHFE) to coordinate and conduct 400 home visits as part of an evaluation of the organization’s nationally recognized early literacy program, the Little by Little School Readiness Program. The program, funded by First 5 LA and administered through The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (or WIC), currently serves 65,000 low-income children each year and seeks to level the playing field in school readiness for low-income children.

“As we work to make quality early learning a reality for every child, we must look to meet the children—and their families—where they are,” Dawn Kurtz, Chief Program Officer, Child360. “This is especially important as more than half of children in California do not attend preschool. WIC sites are one of the few places that young families visit regularly from prenatal to age five to get the support they need to provide a healthy foundation for their children. We are proud to work alongside Heluna Health as they foster a culture of learning and literacy at home.”

Child360’s research and evaluation team will help to assess the program’s success among hundreds of families throughout Los Angeles County. Planning with Heluna Health kicks-off this month, and data collection will begin in Spring 2018.

Heluna Health’s initial evaluation of the Little by Little program, published in a 2011 edition of the medical journal, Pediatrics, found that school readiness increased significantly among children who received Little by Little compared to those who received WIC services only. In addition, parents who had participated in Little by Little were more active in early literacy development with their children. Child360’s upcoming data will enable Heluna Health to update these findings.

“Research shows that low-income children fall behind in literacy skills extremely early. Little by Little has been shown to reduce that disparity, giving kids an equal chance at success in school and in life. Working with Child360 will help us continue to evaluate the true impact of this important program, as we begin to scale it nationally,” said Dr. Blayne Cutler, President and CEO of Heluna Health.

“Programs like Little by Little provide the gift of reading and literacy to our children—a gift that continues to give throughout a child’s entire education journey and onto a lifetime,” said Scott Hippert, CEO, Child360. “It is our hope that every family has the opportunity to enhance children’s learning in the home, and we are thankful to be a part of it.”

About Child360:
Child360 is a leading nonprofit working toward a future where every child has the educational opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. This means supporting the development of the whole child, beginning at birth. Alongside trusted community partners, Child360 improves the quality of early learning and elevates the early learning industry through program support, professional development, advocacy, research, and community engagement. From every angle, we are equipping the next generation, empowering them to discover their potential, and advancing our future workforce.

About Little by Little:
The Little by Little School Readiness Program creates a stimulating home environment that fosters early childhood literacy and improves school readiness for over 65,000 low-income children annually. The program delivers a cost efficient ($52/child/year), high-impact program through WIC centers. It is a program of Heluna Health, funded by First 5 LA. Visit www.lblreaders.org.

About Heluna Health:
Heluna Health is a national leader in providing program and support services to optimize population health. The agency offers a full range of program development, personnel, financial and grant management support to researchers, consortia, government agencies and nonprofits. Visit www.helunahealth.org.

Little by Little and this evaluation project are funded by First 5 LA, a leading public grant making and child advocacy organization.