The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance was established in 2014 by the Adirondack Foundation with a clear vision: To fulfill every child's promise to become a healthy, thriving, contributing member of their communities.
There are 5,000 children zero to three years old living in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties and the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance has connected a network of public and private sources that provide early care, physical health, social-emotional development, family support, and education making it easier for providers and parents to find needed resources. We provide a needed forum for organizations and individuals committed to this work to share best practices, identify funding opportunities, and discuss common challenges. At the same time, our relationships across the region help us identify gaps, bridge services, and leverage community resources.
The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance's core activities include:
- Building awareness of the five building blocks of successful development: universal nurse home visiting; family resource centers; comprehensive home visiting services for vulnerable families; high-quality early childhood education; and high-quality, comprehensive health care.
- Advocating for policies and programs that enhance the education, care, and nutrition children receive by working directly with elected officials and decision makers.
- Offering information, training, and professional development opportunities to early childhood educators and providers.
The Five Building Blocks
A child's first three years go by in a flash-but there's so much to do in those first 1,000 days. The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance focuses on five building blocks that help create the foundation to support all children and parents as they start down the path to a bright, productive life.
Universal nurse home visiting. Children don't come with an instruction manual. Even experienced parents have questions-and for new parents, every day can bring a brand new challenge. Visiting nurses give pregnant mothers and new parents invaluable information about breast-feeding, nutrition, health care and other critical services. We strive to ensure that all new parents who want a home visit have the opportunity to receive one.
Family Resource Centers. These one-stop centers offer parenting classes, support groups, and educational material; provide developmental screenings; steer parents to needed resources-and, just as importantly, are community hubs where parents can meet other parents and spend some much-needed time in the company of other adults. In a rural area like ours, that kind of contact is essential. Our goal is that every parent has easy access to a Family Resource Center.
Comprehensive home visiting for vulnerable families. Every family faces challenges. Some families, though, face challenges that are harder to overcome: substance abuse, mental illness, and poverty, among others, can make it harder for children to develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. Intensive one-on-one support can prepare children for school and reduce incidences of child abuse and neglect. We want to ensure every at-risk family in Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties and the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation can access this comprehensive support in the familiar surroundings of their own homes.
High-quality early childhood education. Quality early care and education programs go beyond keeping children safe and healthy. They nurture and challenge young minds to develop critical thinking, social, emotional, and physical skills. Child care programs need resources, technical assistance, and professional development to maintain a high level of quality. Research shows that children who attend quality programs actually do better in school and throughout life. The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance is partnering with our early childhood educators and QualitystarsNY to increase the number of childcare providers participating in quality improvement programs.
High-quality, comprehensive health care. Health in the earliest years lays the groundwork for a lifetime of well-being. Receiving high-quality, comprehensive health care is critical for every child to get a good start in life. By providing routine developmental screenings, pediatricians can help identify problems with development early to alleviate problems and maximize growth and development. The Adirondack Birth to Three Allliance's goal is to work with health care providers to create a system of identifying children with developmental or behavioral delays as early as possible and connecting them with the community resources they need.