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Funding as a Sustainability Tactic

Many early childhood health promotion programs rely on grant funding to support program planning and implementation. However, grants usually provide one-time or short-term funds and therefore may not be reliable for supporting long-term sustainability. Examples of private foundations and government offices that may support early childhood wellness initiatives in rural communities include:

For a list of additional programs for children and families, including many that can provide funding to support early childhood health promotion programs, see Programs for Children and Families in the Rural Services Integration Toolkit.

If early data show that an initiative is promising or successful, program leaders could share their findings with elected officials to garner public support. Local government is in a unique position to provide their community members access to healthy choices. Local government and community leaders can identify how to fund the work outlined in strategic plans. Ideally, local or state tax dollars will be delegated for long-term sustainability.

Federal programs such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health insurance to nearly half of all children in the U.S. under six years of age. As a result, these programs play a role in funding early childhood health promotion programs. Children and families with health insurance are more likely to access necessary healthcare and can also be connected with appropriate social and developmental services outside of the healthcare system. State Medicaid and CHIP programs fund and implement different programs to promote health and preventive services for children. These programs include initiatives like a focus on patient-centered medical homes for children and their families, as well as other programs focused on performance improvement in healthcare systems.

Medicaid programs in states can also help ensure that children receive necessary screening and treatment of health issues through Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment services. These services can include things such as health and development screenings, physical and laboratory exams, and immunizations.

For a summary of funding programs for early childhood health and wellness promotion, please see Funding by Topic: Children and Youth and Wellness, Health Promotion, and Disease Prevention. Additional information can also be found in the Philanthropy Toolkit.