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Children First

Purpose of Program

  1. To promote early identification of all children with conditions (medical or socio-environmental) that place them at risk for poor health and/or developmental outcomes;

  2. To serve as a single point of entry to connect with other public health programs and community services;

  3. To assist families in recognizing and addressing needs that affect their capacity to provide healthy, safe and nurturing environments for their children; and

  4. To generate data necessary for planning, policy development and service delivery at the state and community level, and improve the health and developmental outcomes of Georgia’s children.

What does the program do?

Children 1st was created by the state of Georgia in an effort to improve the health conditions of children from birth through five years of age.  Children 1st is the “Single Point of Entry” to a statewide collaborative system of public health, prevention based programs and services, school, and community-based organizations to identify children  at risk for poor health or developmental outcomes.

Why is the program important?

While highlighting health, the scope of Children 1st encompasses the total child and family unit, including environmental and social need.  This system helps parents provide their young children with a healthy start in life. It allows at-risk children to be identified early and gives them a chance to grow up healthy and ready for school.

Children 1st identifies and screens children and links them to programs such as:

  • Babies Can’t Wait (BCW)

  • Children’s Medical Services (CMS)

  • Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (UNHSI)

  • Georgia Newborn Screening Program

  • 1st Care

  • Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)

Where are services located?

The Electronic Birth Certificate (EBC) assists Children 1st in identifying newborns with at risk health and development. In addition to identification through the EBC, health and community providers refer families to Children 1st by submitting a Children 1st Screening and Referral Form to the local Children 1st District Coordinator. Providers and parents can also call our toll-free Great Start Georgia Information and Referral Center at 1-855-707-8277 to make a referral.


Contact Information

Comprehensive Child Health
2 Peachtree Street, NW
11th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-656-6679