A voice for young children

Above: Caprice Johnson, project coordinator for CCCCNC’s Kinship Caregiving Program at the Family Connections center in Plattsburgh, plays educational games with kids.

"Young children are ripe with potential. The right programs can promote good health, school readiness, and a better shot at success in life.”—Lee Keet, Cloudsplitter Foundation

The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance (BT3), a project of Adirondack Foundation, has made significant strides in its first year thanks to the strong support of our funding partners as well as the over 100 alliance members and our Steering Committee.

“We’re building momentum,” said Steering Committee Co-Chair Jamie Basiliere, executive director of the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country (CCCCNC). “It’s really exciting that we’re now recognizing the importance of these first thousand days. Until now, young children in the North Country have not had a strong voice.”

The profound impact of high-quality care, nutrition, and education during a child’s first 1,000 days has been demonstrated repeatedly by rigorous studies. BT3 formed to make sure we provide every child the best possible start in life.

The need for an alliance was reinforced this year, with the news that early child care programs in Essex and Franklin counties had been shut down.

“Providing early child care and intervention services in New York is a complicated process involving federal, state, county, and private players,” said Cali Brooks. “The bottom line is that these programs benefit all of us—economically and socially. We must work together to support our children.”

The BT3 Alliance can’t bring back the programs that closed, but it is working to bolster successful models. A Generous Acts Fund grant from Adirondack Foundation is helping Adirondack Community Action Programs and CCCCNC recruit and train new early childhood education professionals in areas lacking providers. The project is expected to add between 48 and 72 new regulated and high-quality family child care slots.

Thanks to the Alliance, three counties joined together to apply for state funding and won a five-year, $1 million grant that will expand home visiting programs for vulnerable families. Home visits strengthen family life and reduce negative impacts on children.

There is still work to do. To get involved and learn more, please visit www.adirondackbt3.org.