About ABCD

The Resource Center is built on NASHP’s Assuring Better Child Health and Development (ABCD) Electronic Resource Center, which compiled resources from the ABCD Program. ABCD was funded by the Commonwealth Fund, administered by NASHP, and designed to assist states in improving the delivery of early child development services for low-income children and their families by strengthening primary health care services and systems that support the healthy development of young children, ages birth to 3. The program focused particularly on preventive care of children whose health care is covered by state health care programs, especially Medicaid. From 2000-2012, the ABCD program helped 27 states create models of service delivery and financing through a laboratory for program development and innovation.

  • The first ABCD Consortium (ABCD I) was created in 2000 and provided grants to four states (NC, UT, VT, WA) to develop or expand service delivery and financing strategies aimed at enhancing healthy child development for low-income children and their families. The program concluded in 2003.
  • The ABCD II Initiative launched in 2003 and ended in early 2007. It was designed to assist states in building the capacity of Medicaid programs to deliver care that supports children’s healthy mental development. The initiative funded the work of five states(CA, IL, IA, MN, UT).
  • The ABCD Screening Academy included 19 states (AK, AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, KS, MD, MI, MN, MT, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, VA, WI), Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, who worked to identify and improve policies and practices that move the use of standardized developmental screening tools as part of well-child care from a best practice to a standard practice.
  • ABCD III, which began in 2009 and ended in late 2012, developed and tested sustainable models for improving care coordination and linkages between pediatric primary care providers and other providers who support children’s healthy development. Five states (AR, IL, MN, OK, OR) developed lasting policy and systems improvements and practice improvements that build and strengthen linkages between primary care providers and other child and family service providers, thereby improving the quality of care for children with or at-risk of developmental delay.

To learn about the legacy of the ABCD program from the states themselves please view The ABCD Legacy: In the Words of the States. Key NASHP ABCD publications are listed in this ABCD Publications Library. Find select ABCD resources by entering “ABCD” into the search bar.

For states interested in staying involved in the efforts of ABCD states, please email Elinor Higgins at  ehiggins@nashp.org to be added to the ABCD Alumni listserv.

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