By Jamie Basiliere
Executive Director, Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country
Research has long shown that investing in the earliest stages of childhood development reaps countless rewards as children age into adolescence and adulthood. For those of us who work in this field, it’s heartening to see public and private funders invest in organizations and programs that bolster the social, emotional and physical health of young children.
From the systems-changing work of the Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance and funding from the new federal Stabilization Grants to targeted small grants for child care providers and programs from Adirondack Foundation’s Small Grants for Small Children program, we’re seeing a new commitment to this sector. With the recent news that the Heart Network’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) program will add an early childhood component, this momentum will no doubt continue.
CHSC’s focus is to improve community health outcomes through the establishment of policies, practices and built-environments that place an emphasis on physical activity and nutrition. The next five-year cycle of the state-funded program will extend those principles to childcare centers and daycares. That means greater investment in infrastructure that helps kids play and get active — a crucial component of development, especially in the first years of life. It also means more emphasis on delivering healthy foods to young kids, and we know that at any age, nutrition is the basis for learning and physical development.
As a board member of the Heart Network and executive director of the Child Care Coordinating Council, I look forward to this continued investment in the early childhood sector. Please reach out to our team if you want to get involved: email CHSC coordinator Andrea Goff at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 891-5855.