Practice & Prevention

Nemours Children's National Office of Policy & Prevention

1201 15th Street NW, Suite 520, Washington, D.C. 20005

Practice & Prevention

The National Office of Policy & Prevention is an embodiment of Nemours Children's commitment to enabling the healthiest generations of children, within our service areas — and nationally. The National Office’s Practice & Prevention team collaborates with other health systems and other sectors around the country to spread “what works” for improving health outcomes for children and their families — including programming, policy and systems change strategies. 

Our work in early learning, literacy and population health supports Nemours Well Beyond Medicine approach, which recognizes that 80% of what contributes to health are the communitywide social, economic and physical conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.  

Our work uses a health equity lens. We recognize that access to affordable, high-quality education, food, housing, jobs, etc. varies greatly between communities and we focus our efforts on increasing access to health-building conditions among communities, families and children who have fewer resources. 

Early Care & Education

For more than a decade, Nemours has leveraged federal, state and private foundation funding to promote healthy eating and physical activity in child care programs across the country. Nemours staff provide training, coaching and materials to state departments of health, early childhood organizations and child care providers. 

In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our Healthy Kids, Healthy Future Technical Assistance Program (HKHF TAP) engaged 4,696 ECE programs serving more than 210,000 children across 12 states in 2022. HKHF TAP state partners more than doubled engagement of Early Care & Education (ECE) programs (from 2,246 to 4,696) and almost tripled the number of children engaged (71,387 to 212,086) from year 1 to year 4 of the work.

As part of HKHF TAP, Nemours also trains and coaches state health and early childhood staff on best practices for physical activity in ECE. In collaboration with the CDC, Nemours developed training materials to promote physical activity best practices. Known as Physical Activity Learning Sessions (PALS), Nemours has trained more than 800 trainers across 22 states. 

Our Better Together Project in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana and Mississippi improved healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices within state systems and ECE programs. Over three years, Better Together reached 1,079 ECE programs serving more than 53,000 children. More than 1,800 hours of individualized technical assistance were provided to ECE programs through Better Together activities, and more than 1,000 ECE program staff were trained on nutrition and physical activity best practices through the learning collaborative sessions.

Building on efforts first launched in Florida, Nemours Children's Wellness Workbook for Early Care & Education helps ECE providers, families and community partners work together to raise fit, happy children. ECE professionals can use this online workbook to assess, develop and monitor their program’s wellness policies and practices. This free tool is available for ECE program staff or trainers who support them in making quality improvements. 

In Indiana, Nemours partners with Jump IN for Healthy Kids and SPARK Learning Lab to pilot a series of Farm to ECE Learning Collaboratives. Nemours creates content and supports coaches as they implement learning sessions and provide technical assistance to ECE programs. Through these Learning Collaboratives, ECE program learning environments are enhanced through gardening, food and farming education activities and local food procurement.

In New York, Nemours partners with JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc to provide training and technical assistance to community partners. Through the Physical Activity and Nutrition Center of Excellence (PANCE), Nemours directly supports organizations across the state working with child care providers to improve nutrition and physical activity in their programs.

We have also developed high-quality resources that ECE providers can use to support children and families to develop healthy habits. Our Nourishing Healthy Eaters materials include training materials and videos for families that focus on Picky Eaters, Healthy Snacks and Healthy Celebrations. The Better Together Family Cafés are a collection of five guided conversations to engage families in meaningful discussions on nutrition and physical activity topics. 

Healthy Kids, Healthy Future

Early care and education providers are uniquely positioned to improve children’s health and support families to develop healthy habits. When you help improve children’s health, you’re helping to create a better future. Find more tools for helping children have a healthy start at Healthy Kids, Healthy Future.

Improving Early Literacy

Research has shown that the foundation for literacy starts early. If children aren’t reading at grade level by the end of first grade, they only have about a 10% chance of catching up by fourth grade.

The Nemours Children’s Reading BrightStart! (NCRBS!) program is an early literacy program that promotes foundational early literacy skills. The program includes:

  • Screening tools to identify children’s reading readiness
  • Stronger reading programs
  • Trainings for ECE providers on early literacy

Early literacy results

To date, we have reached more than 260,000 children in 38 states. NBS! has proven results. Using the curriculum has led to:

  • Early literacy gains of more than 110% for at-risk kindergarteners
  • Two-thirds of at-risk kindergarteners closing the literacy gap with their peers
  • Many children continuing on a successful path and passing their third-grade state reading assessment

Learn more about Nemours Children’s Reading BrightStart! or complete the preschool reading readiness screener.

Contact us for more information about curricula and teacher training to build reading readiness and reading skills for children from infancy to age five.

Navigating the Health Care System

Navigating the Health Care System is a four-unit health literacy curriculum designed by Nemours for use with young adults. It is designed to prepare high school and college-age teens to be responsible for managing their own health care as they transition into adulthood. Materials are suitable for in-class, in-home, after-school and community settings, and can be taught virtually.

Activities teach teens: 

  • What to expect as they interact with health care professionals, the health care system and insurance providers
  • How to communicate effectively with care providers
  • How to advocate for your own health-related needs

Inspired by the curriculum’s strong evaluation outcomes, in Spring 2018 Nemours began making the curriculum available at no cost, nationwide.

Learn More About Navigating the Health Care System

Population Health

Anchor Organization Strategies & Nemours

Anchor institutions are hospitals, universities and other large entities that are “anchored” in their communities (unlikely to relocate) and among the largest employers and purchasers in the communities where they sit. Through deliberate local and equity-focused hiring, purchasing, investing and environmental strategies, anchor institutions can positively impact the vitality of a community.  

Nemours embraces its status as an anchor institution in the communities we serve and is actively working to expand use of anchor strategies. We are proud to be among the 70+ health care organizations that are members of the national Healthcare Anchor Network

Contact us to learn more about anchor institution strategies used by Nemours Children’s Health.


Population Health Integrators

Moving the needle on measures of health and well-being for entire communities, also known as population health, is beyond what one organization can accomplish independently. It requires collaboration across sectors. For more than a decade, Nemours has been exploring the ways health care entities and community organizations from other sectors can collaborate to improve communitywide health outcomes, and the specific roles health care can play to strengthen the impact of these types of cross-sector population health networks. 

Learn more about the role of health care organizations in population health networks.