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Rural Health Information Hub

Module 1: Introduction to Early Childhood Health Promotion

Ensuring and promoting the health and well-being of children from birth through age 8 is an important goal for all communities, since factors that result in poor health outcomes for children can lead to health concerns in adulthood. Health promotion focuses on improving and protecting the health of different populations and communities, including children and their families. Health promotion programs aim to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes. Programs that focus on improving the health and well-being of children in early childhood may be implemented in homes, childcare settings, and other community-based settings.

Children living in rural communities may experience unique challenges that impact health outcomes. For example, childhood obesity is one serious and complex issue in the United States that can be particularly challenging for rural communities to address. Rural residents can benefit from health promotion programs that are adapted to meet the needs of the specific community. This toolkit provides information that is critical for promoting health in early childhood. It highlights programs that address maternal health, young family supports and behaviors, early childhood care and education, and the importance of built and social environments in early childhood.

For general information and considerations on developing rural health programs, see Creating a Program: Where to Begin in the Rural Community Health Toolkit. For information about implementing overall health promotion programs visit the Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit.

In this module: