A Running Start Health: For Every child, birth to 5

Measures of Progress

A Running Start – Health set ambitious goals for Philadelphia’s children health in 2020. We are working to reduce sleep related deaths, injuries, asthma exacerbations, lead exposure, and obesity while also working to increase the percentage of children reaching developmental milestones and the percentage of children ready to enter kindergarten.

2020 Targets

Sleep-Related Deaths

Sleep-related deaths (often categorized as Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome) are a leading cause of infant mortality in Philadelphia.

2017 data estimated

Chart displaying number of infant sleep-related deaths by year

Developmental Delays

Metric under development to be released in 2019

The Survey of Wellbeing of Young Children (SWYC), as administered by healthcare providers, will be used to measure and monitor the proportion of children in Philadelphia meeting developmental milestones at 18 and 24 months of age.

School Readiness

Metric under development to be released in 2019

In collaboration with the School District of Philadelphia, A Running Start–Health is developing a metric on the proportion of students entering kindergarten who are appropriately prepared to learn.


Injuries, including those from falls, suffocation, fires, and guns, are the leading cause of death for children age 1-4 and are common causes for visits to hospital emergency departments.

Chart displaying number of emergency department visits for injuries in children under age 6

Asthma Exacerbations

Asthma exacerbations are a leading cause of hospitalization of young children and a major cause for acute care visits and missed school days.

Chart displaying number of emergency department visits for asthma in children under age 6

Lead Exposure

Exposure to lead in early childhood can lead to lifelong learning and behavior problems.

Chart displaying number children under age 6 identified with high venous blood levels


Obesity in early childhood is a marker for unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, and a predictor for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer in adult years.

Chart displaying percentage of children enrolled in Kindergarten or First Grade who are obese or overweight

2020 Targets

InterventionProgress MeasureBaselineCY17
Safe sleep campaignNumber of fliers distributed; Number of digital viewsBaseline TBD42,420 fliers; 83,914 pageviews
Breastfeeding promotionNumber of "baby-friendly" hospitals3 of 6 birthing hospitals4 out of 6 birthing hospitals
Home visiting for infantsNumber of families of pregnant women or children ages 0-5 enrolled in home visiting programs3,025 for 20152,390
Identification & treatment of maternal mental health/substance use problemsNumber of children <6 in a household with at least one adult receiving substance use disorder treatment through CBH2,227 children in 20162,200
 Number of children <6 in a household with at least one adult receiving mental health services through CBH9,600 children in 20169,595
Homelessness prevention & diversionNumber of families provided homeless prevention assistance348 families in FY2016589 in FY17
Abuse prevention/parenting supportsNumber of children <6 who reach permanency665 children in 2016678
 Number of families with children <6 receiving in home services who reached family stabilization1,076 families in 20161,070
Early childhood educationAvailable seats in Keystone STAR 3 and 4 programs22,726 in FY201625,676 in FY17
Identification & remediation of hazards in homeNumber of rental units newly certified as lead safe or lead free in one year282 units certified in 20162,462
Nutrition & physical activity in child careNumber of childcare providers that have received education from Department of Public HealthBaseline TBDTrainings/in-person mtgs: 162 providers. Paper mailings received: 1,696


RiskProgress MeasureBaselineCY17
Cosleeping/unsafe sleepReduce the percent of parents reporting unsafe sleep arrangementsBaseline TBDTBD in 2019
Early intervention services for infants/toddlers with or at risk for developmental delaysNumber of children <36 months active in ITEIRegular Screening: 899 in FY16. Active with Plan: 5,898 in FY16Regular Screening: 881 in FY17. Active with Plan: 5,898 in FY16
Lack of breastfeedingIncrease breastfeeding initiation72 percent in 201481% in CY16
Maternal mental health/substance use problemsReduce the number of substance-exposed infants at birth281 infants in 2015142 in Q1 + Q2 2017
Homelessness & housing instabilityReduce the number of children <6 entering shelter708 children in Aug-Dec 2016615 children in Aug-Dec 2017; 1,222 FY17
Limited parenting capacityReduce the number of Substantiated General Protective Service reports5,476 reports in 20165,469
Child abuse/neglectReduce the number of Indicated Child Protective Service reports868 reports in 20161,022
Hazardous housing conditionsReduce the rate of violations per 1,000 occupied housing units185.4 violations per 1,000 units in 2015186 per 1,000
Unhealthy diet & physical inactivityIncrease the percent of childcare centers meeting Department of Public Health standards49 percent in 2017TBD in 2018


Data Sources