Vicki Caramante, April 12, 2019
We all know the African proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child,” and as I am about to mark my first six months as Executive Director of CCRR, I have come to know how true it is.
In my first blogs, I wrote about our Annual Conference; Giving Tuesday; partnerships; reflecting on what is best for children; supporting breastfeeding mothers and babies; supporting our early care teachers; fighting for smart, effective child care policies; and celebrating our champions. And together with so many supporters, we have accomplished so much!
The NYS Budget included increases reimbursement rates for early intervention services (EI) for the first time since drastic cuts were made in 2010 and 2011; adds $10m for the Empire State Afterschool Program which provides quality youth development opportunities to school-age children and youth directly after school, and includes $26M to address the child care market rate (outside of NYC), though no new funding for child care subsidies was included. Cost of Living increases for nonprofits were not provided for, nor were several other initiatives funded at the levels we’d hoped. We will continue to advocate for budgets that prioritize children.
I have met with the directors of many nonprofits, discussing among other topics ways we can collaborate to support young children and their families. CCRR staff and I have participated in many meetings with several Rockland County Departments and with all of our school districts. And as founding partners, we remain committed to the mission of the Nyack Basics, five evidence-based parenting and care-giving principals to help children grow and thrive.
CCRR has even begun implementing new programs. With a budget increase from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, we have hired a new staff person to work specifically on infant/toddler services (I’ll share much more in my next blog), and have received a grant from the NYS Council on Children and Families to further implement the Pyramid Model, an evidence-based framework proven to be an effective approach to building social and emotional competence in early care and education programs.
And just this past week, we honored our 2019 Children’s Champions at our annual awards dinner, purposefully held during April, the Month of the Young Child.
Every single one of these milestones involves a group of people – the true village working together to impact and improve the lives of young children and their families. Day after day, children are made the priority - big victories, little victories, and all those in between; even the defeats as they remind us to raise our voices again. It is not a coincidence that my blog this month, the Month of the Young Child, celebrates this village because in this village, every month is for the young child.