Summary of FY2014 Performance and Financial Information
Goal Three: Advance the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of the American People
Improving Early Childhood Education
The Improve the Quality of Early Childhood Education Priority Goal calls for actions to improve the quality of programs for children of low-income families, namely Head Start and Child Care. For the Head Start program, the aim is to decrease the number of children in classrooms receiving a score in the low range of the CLASS: Pre-K. CLASS: Pre-K measures three aspects of the child’s experience in the classroom: emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support. During FY 2014, 23 percent of classrooms scored in the low range, exceeding the target of 27 percent.
HHS strives to promote the health, economic, and social well-being of children, people with disabilities, and older adults while improving wellness for all. To meet this goal, the Department is employing evidence-based strategies to strengthen families and to improve outcomes for children, adults, and communities. Underlying each objective and strategy associated with this goal is a focus on prevention.
Goal Three includes six objectives:
- Promote the safety, well-being, and healthy development of children and youth
- Promote economic and social well-being for individuals, families, and communities
- Improve the accessibility and quality of supportive services for people with disabilities and older adults
- Promote prevention and wellness across the life span
- Reduce the occurrence of infectious diseases
- Protect Americans’ health and safety during emergencies, and foster resilience in response to emergencies
While smoking among adults in the U.S. has decreased significantly from a decade ago, the decline in adult smoking rates has slowed, concurrent with reductions in state investments in tobacco control programs. However, the coordinated efforts of the Priority Goal to reduce tobacco use have resulted in reductions in adult cigarette consumption, based on FY 2013 results (reported in June 2014). In the 2014-2015 iteration of this Priority Goal, HHS is focused on a new measure of smoking-- annual per capita adult combustible tobacco consumption in the U.S. This new measure focuses on all combustibles, not just cigarettes, as a way to ascertain broader trends in tobacco use among adults. Data on this new measure will be available following FY 2014.
Salmonella is the leading known cause of bacterial foodborne illness and death in the U.S. Each year in the U.S., Salmonella causes an estimated 1.2 million illnesses and between 400 and 500 deaths. Salmonella serotype enteritidis (SE), a subtype of Salmonella, is now the most common type of salmonella in the U.S. and accounts for approximately 20 percent of all salmonella cases in humans, and reducing its prevalence is an HHS Priority Goal to reduce foodborne illness in the population. The most significant sources of foodborne SE infections are shell eggs (regulated by the Food and Drug Administration) and broiler chickens (regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture). Therefore, reducing SE illness from shell eggs is the most appropriate strategy for reducing illness from SE. Preventing Salmonella infections depends on actions taken by regulatory agencies, the food industry, and consumers to reduce contamination of food, as well as actions taken for detecting and responding to outbreaks. CDC estimated that, for 2007-2009, 40 percent of domestically-acquired, foodborne SE illnesses were from eating shell eggs and 28 percent of total SE illnesses (foodborne, non-foodborne, and international travel-associated) were from shell eggs. CDC completed an evaluation of a “food product” model to estimate annual change in percentage of SE illnesses from shell eggs, but determined that necessary data about contamination of shell eggs was not available. CDC concluded that this model could not be used unless new sources of egg data were obtained. Therefore, as of January 2014, CDC began collecting exposure data from persons with SE infection in FoodNet sites, a network that conducts surveillance for infections diagnosed by laboratory testing of samples from patients. CDC will conduct a preliminary evaluation of this data to assess its quality and determine its usefulness in updating CDC’s exposure model for estimating the proportion of total SE illnesses attributable to shell eggs during 2014-2015. As of June 2014, the SE rate was 2.79 infections per 100,000.
The Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program provides funding to help low-income families pay for child care and to improve the overall quality of child care programs. States continue to implement quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) that meet benchmarks, such as providing financial support to providers and making quality information available to parents. This is also part of the Improve the Quality of Early Childhood Education Priority Goal. The number of states with QRIS that meet these benchmarks increased from 17 states in FY 2011 to 27 states in FY 2013. The President recently signed into law reauthorization of the CCDF program. The law emphasizes the importance of high-quality child care, increases the amount states must spend on measurable quality activities, and requires professional development initiatives for child care providers.
Through the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NCSP), the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the national aging services network have supported caregivers with an array of services including: counseling and training services, respite care, and access assistance. The program has been successful in reducing caregiver stress and helping caregivers to continue providing care longer. Between 2005 and 2012 the program has reduced the percentage of caregivers reporting difficulty in obtaining services by 47 percent.
For this goal, 78 percent of measures with available data showed stable or improved performance.
Topics in this report
- Message from the Secretary
- Goal One: Strengthen Health Care
- Goal Two: Advance Scientific Knowledge and Innovation
- Goal Four: Increase Efficiency, Transparency, and Accountability of HHS Programs
- Summary of Financial Statements and Stewardship Information