Early childhood sets the foundation for health and well-being across a person’s life. However, many families face challenges providing for their children’s basic needs and securing the health, social, and economic supports necessary to help their family thrive.

State health and social service agencies are uniquely positioned to align their investments and programs to holistically support families and the healthy growth and development of children. As part of Aligning Early Childhood and Medicaid, made possible through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) partnered with 13 cross-agency state teams representing Medicaid and other agencies responsible for early childhood services to explore opportunities for states to better align their systems.

Drawing from this work, CHCS and partners developed a framework to guide state leaders in better aligning state systems to improve health and well-being outcomes. This brief describes the framework and outlines how states and their partners can use this tool to align policies and programs that serve young children and their families.