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National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers (NCIT) Capacity-Building Hub

When we equitably support families before, during, and after pregnancy, their babies grow into healthy kids who are confident, empathetic, and ready to succeed in school and life—and our families, communities, workforce, and economy become stronger and more productive.

What is the Hub?

The National Collaborative for Infants & Toddlers (NCIT) Capacity-Building Hub, funded by the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), supports pregnant and parenting families, infants, and toddlers by working with state and community leaders and coalitions committed to advancing policies and programs that provide for this strong start in life.

PCI envisions a time when every child is supported in their physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development, beginning prenatally, to build a strong foundation for success in school and in life. Recognizing the deep disparities along racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic lines, PCI and the NCIT Capacity-Building Hub are committed to closing the gap by ensuring equitable access to high-quality services.

With the BUILD Initiative housing and managing it, the NCIT Capacity-Building Hub supports early childhood leaders, advocates, policymakers, and practitioners from inside and outside state and local governments, and provides consultation, support services, and opportunities for peer exchange. BUILD, and many partner organizations, are helping states and communities create and strengthen prenatal-to-three policies and programs, address racial disparities, and support historically (and currently) marginalized communities—and then sharing what works.

The Hub is progressively growing its national efforts to increase the knowledge of all state and community leaders and coalitions by sharing promising strategies and resources that others can adopt or adapt to improve maternal health, birth outcomes, and infant/toddler well-being.

NCIT Capacity-Building Hub Goal

The Capacity-Building Hub aims to help grantee states and communities, by 2023, reduce by 25 percent the gap between the children and families served by high-quality programs and the children and families who want high-quality services but don’t have access to them.

Our Work: Hub Supports

The NCIT Capacity-Building Hub offers consultation, technical support, and peer opportunities to PCI state and community grantees, as well as lighter touch support to any prenatal-to-age three (PN-3) leader in all 50 states.

Support to PCI state and community grantees includes:

  • Tailored Consultation: The Hub provides consultation and support to PCI’s 20 state and 10 community coalition grantees working on their prenatal-to-age-three agendas. The Hub works with an array of dedicated and knowledgeable early childhood professionals from BUILD, ZERO TO THREE, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Vital Village, Start Early, and independent consultants, whom we refer to as Hub Leads. Hub Leads partner with state and community coalition leaders to support them in implementing targeted strategies to achieve universal goals, including reducing disparities, growing and investing in diverse prenatal-to-three leaders, and identifying sound fiscal strategies that sustain and adequately support their prenatal-to-three systems.
  • NCIT XChange: The NCIT XChange is an online community of PN-3 leaders. It enables sharing of strategies, knowledge, and resources through a dedicated online platform. It provides an easy-to-use space for the PN-3 network to raise ideas, pose questions, and receive timely advice from peers and other subject matter experts.
  • Fellowship: The current Pritzker Fellows are leaders staffing the community coalitions. The Fellows are offered coaching, peer networking, and professional development to support their leadership in executing ambitious community plans for increasing access to high-quality prenatal-to-three services.
  • Tailored Learning Activities: The Hub organizes and hosts learning opportunities (webinars, Communities of Practice, in-person and virtual meetings) for grantees—some of these are open to non-grantees as well.

Communities of Practice

The Hub Communities of Practice (CoP) focus on shared learning, application, and reflection with other prenatal-to-three leaders. The conversations and session topics are responsive to participants’ interests and needs.

Current Communities of Practice include:

  • Racial Disparities in Infant and Maternal Morbidity and Mortality
  • Home-Based Child Care
  • State and Community Collaboration and Coordination
  • Child Care
  • Prenatal-to-Three Coalition Coordinators
  • Authentic Family and Community Engagement

Fifty-state support to PN-3 leaders includes:

  1. NCIT XChange: To support the 50-state strategy, the NCIT XChange is open to PN-3 leaders.
  2. Help Desk and Warm Line: The Help Desk, a part of the XChange, is designed to address PN-3 challenges faced by states and communities. It involves a “request and response” format between states/communities and PN-3 experts. The Help Desk can help states and communities solve challenges that get in the way of children and families experiencing healthy beginnings, family support, and quality child care. The Warm Line, 1.833.AskNCIT, housed on theNCIT.org, is a live call line for PN-3 “customers” to ask questions. The Help Desk serves all 50 states.
  3. Learning Activities: The Hub offers broadly relevant PN-3 webinars.
  4. TheNCIT.org: TheNCIT.org is a resource for policymakers at the community, state, and national level that houses current research and resources.
  5. Newsletter: The monthly NCIT Hub Digest includes: State and Community Spotlights (summaries of the work each state and community grantee is focused on), resources and tools produced by grantees, learning opportunities geared to a national audience, resources to support grantees in their PN-3 work, and career opportunities.

The NCIT XChange is a dedicated online community for prenatal-to-three leaders, advocates, and anyone who is a champion for infants and toddlers, the XChange provides resources and a forum for sharing knowledge and insights to improve the lives of infants and toddlers and their families.

Join the NCIT XChange Community

Explore NCIT Capacity-Building Hub Resources

Learn more about the NCIT states and communities.

Read Spotlight Profiles

NCIT Capacity-Building Hub Team

Tiereny 
NCIT Director

Michelle Adkins
Assistant Director

Cheryl McAfee
Senior Knowledge Manager

Gretchen Ames
Community Manager

Chloe Jordan
Learning Community Manager