Healthier Children in the Kickapoo Region

Creating a Shared Service Network to expand and improve child care and health outcomes in the Kickapoo Region

Full Project Name:Healthier Children through a Shared Service Network Supporting ASQ Screening/Early InterventionPrimary Community Organization:Wisconsin Early Childhood AssociationPrimary Academic Partner:John Meurer, MD, MBA, Institute for Health and EquityAward Amount:$399,808
Award Date
January2018
Project Duration:42 months

Project Description Narrative:


To increase child care availability and provider training and support the early intervention and referrals that can improve child development and health outcomes, project partners seek to create a Shared Service Network (SSN). An affiliation of child care programs (licensed center and family child care) that intentionally share cost savings and increased revenues to reinvest into improving program quality, a SSN will support screening, data-based decision making, and data sharing among partners. Two dozen SSNs exist in the United States, this project will develop the first in the nation to connect children to medical homes while embedding the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) developmental screening.

Community partners:
Coulee Children's Center, Organic Valley, Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers, Monroe County Dept of Human Services (Birth to 3 Program), Kickapoo Collaboration Core Team, Vernon Memorial Healthcare, Cashton School District, School District of La Farge, Kickapoo Area School District, Western Technical College, Bank of Cashton, Vernon Economic Development Association, Vernon County Tourism, Promotion and Econ Dev Committee, Family Connections of Southwest WI, The Parenting Place, Wisconsin Counties Association, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, The Registry, Rural Wisconsin Health Co-operative, Moving the Needle,

National partners:
Opportunities Exchange, Alliance for Early Success

Project Updates:


  • Continued to provide critical services to child care programs
  • Engaged in hours of Ages and Stages Developmental Questionnaire training and support (done face to face, prior to COVID-19). WEESSN has provided timely, responsive, relevant health and safety information on operating a child care program safely during this health crisis. As a trusted purveyor of information, WEESSN-created content has been sought out on COVID policy matters to the benefit of child care programs statewide  
  • WEESSN staff provided vetted financial coaching, resulting in impacted child care programs receiving supplementary emergency funds and resources like hand sanitizer and masks
  • Expanded this model to other regions of the state; what started as a two-county model has now expanded into 11 counties with several more communities working on feasibility studies to bring this exemplar program to their area 

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