CCNC Program Highlight: New Horizons Academy

new horizon academy

When New Horizons Academy decided to venture into the Des Moines metro area to open three new child care centers, the family-owned business reached out to EveryStep's Child Care Nurse Consultant (CCNC) program for guidance.

"Because we are accredited, we needed to have a visiting nurse visit the facilities," Jeannine Laughlin, New Horizons Academy regional director, said. "We want to make sure we are doing what we're supposed to be doing. We wanted someone to come in saying that's right, or maybe do it this way."

And that's exactly what the CCNC program, facilitated by EveryStep, did.

The CCNC program, which was created through a grant from the Iowa Department of Health in 1995, promotes health and safety within child care environments. Each year, EveryStep CCNC provides service to more than 200 child care providers in Polk and Dallas counties.

The program utilizes funding from United Way, Polk County Early Childhood Iowa and 4R Kids Early Childhood Iowa so there is no cost to the child care providers, children or families.

"We work with all child care providers, both in-home and centers, on multiple levels depending on their needs," Jeannette Luthringer, EveryStep Community Health director, said. "Our best practice is for a continuum of services for as long as the child care providers are in operation."

Still, some providers elect to work with CCNC on a more limited basis when they have a specific issue or need a health and safety assessment tool as part of the Iowa Quality Rating System.

Luthringer notes that EveryStep’s CCNC program tracks various performance measures. The most impactful metric shows that 97% of care providers working with the program make improvements to health and safety within their practice.

At New Horizons Academy, Laughlin says EveryStep’s CCNC nurses made sure the center could serve the needs of the kids in the best way possible, whether that meant administering medication or ensuring proper sanitation standards are being met.

After the nurses' initial visits, Laughlin said that she's been able to reach out with any questions or concerns the center has encountered. The responses are always prompt and helpful.

"It's been great to have that additional resource, to make sure we have our systems in place," Laughlin said. "You guys are an awesome resource to have for anyone in the childcare industry, to ensure we are doing the best for the children."

As part of its accreditation, New Horizons Academy will have a CCNC nurse visit its facilities four times a year.

"We just have a strong commitment to providing strong quality child-care," Laughlin said. "We want to make sure children are learning, but also having fun learning, getting that great self-esteem building interaction from teachers."

To learn more about the CCNC program and other services EveryStep offers, visit