About the Program
2011 CUBS Data Sheets
What is Alaska CUBS?
Alaska CUBS is a program designed to find out more about the health and early childhood experiences of Alaska toddlers. CUBS collects information by conducting a follow-up survey to the Alaska Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). Alaska-resident mothers who completed the PRAMS survey after their infant was born are sent a CUBS survey when their child is three years old. CUBS asks questions about both the mother and her toddler. About 115 mothers are sent a CUBS survey every month.
The CUBS program began sending out surveys in 2006. Although 37 states have a PRAMS program, currently only three other states follow-up with PRAMS respondents when their child is a toddler.
What is the purpose of CUBS?
In Alaska, health-related data for mothers and infants are collected from PRAMS, for older children and teenagers from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and for adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. However, very little is known about the health, behavior and early childhood experiences of young children before they enter school. CUBS seeks to fill that gap by collecting information related to toddler behavior, health, health care access, parenting, and school readiness. By using the methodology of re-interviewing mothers who completed a PRAMS survey, CUBS is able to evaluate those factors present at birth or early life that increase risk for later adverse childhood outcomes.
What are the goals and objectives of CUBS?
The goal of CUBS is to provide data related to the health and well-being of Alaskan toddlers. These data will be provided to health-care and education professionals across Alaska to assist them in improving child health. This goal is accomplished through the following objectives:
- Collect high quality data about the health status and care of Alaskan children at three years of age.
- Perform data analyses to advance the understanding of how health systems, individual behaviors and family practices contribute to health outcomes during early childhood.
- Translate analytic results into practical information for planning and evaluating public health interventions and policies and promoting standards for early childhood healthcare.
- Share findings with toddler health stakeholders, including health care providers, educators, and parents.
Who are the partners in CUBS?
The primary partner in CUBS is Alaska PRAMS. Both PRAMS and CUBS reside in the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Epidemiology Unit of the Section of Women's, Children's and Family Health at the Alaska Division of Public Health (DPH). The CUBS program is federally funded by the Title V, MCH Block Grant. A local steering committee for both PRAMS and CUBS is composed of a multi-disciplinary mixture of individuals from the public and private sector, representatives of Alaska Native Corporations, and the academic community. PRAMS sends a survey to approximately one of every six mothers of newborns in Alaska, and CUBS attempts follow-up with all mothers who completed PRAMS.
How are data collected?
Mothers who completed a PRAMS survey are given an opportunity to complete a CUBS survey. When their child turns three years old, women receive a pre-letter telling them about the CUBS survey. This is followed by up to two survey mailouts. Unlike PRAMS, CUBS staff currently do not administer the survey by telephone. However, phone calls are made to help locate mothers (since contact information is several years old) and to encourage them to send the survey back. Mothers who have moved outside of Alaska are not eligible to participate in CUBS.
See the Alaska PRAMS website for details on PRAMS methodology.
What information does CUBS collect?
Toddler well-being topics covered on CUBS include:
- custody status;
- nutrition and eating habits;
- general and specialized health care utilization and access, including dental care;
- child care and barriers to use of child care;
- parenting behaviors;
- child safety; and
- child development and behaviors.
The survey also includes items specific to maternal and parental experience, such as maternal smoking, drinking, and exercise habits; family stressors; income; home safety; and presence of a male caregiver.
Click here to see the Alaska CUBS Phase 2 survey for data collected in 2008.
Click here to see the Alaska CUBS Phase 3 survey for data collected 2009–2011.
Click here to see the current Alaska CUBS Phase 4 survey for data collected 2012–2014.
How can data from CUBS be used?
Alaska CUBS provides data not available from other sources about preschool-age children in Alaska. These data will be used:
- to evaluate and improve program implementation and delivery of services for mothers and toddlers, such as those services provided by health care workers, child care providers, early childhood educators, Head Start, and the Office of Children's Services.
- to identify groups of women and toddlers at high risk for health problems, to monitor changes in health status, to evaluate those factors present at birth or early life that increase risk for later adverse behaviors, and to measure progress towards goals in improving the health of mothers and toddlers.
For more information, or for specific data requests, contact the CUBS Coordinator at:
CUBS Program Coordinator
Division of Public Health
Section of Women's, Children's and Family Health
3601 C Street, Suite 358
Anchorage, AK 99503
(907) 269-3493 fax