Coalition shines spotlight on the health, wellbeing of infants and toddlers in the Adirondack region
A new report shines a spotlight on the health and wellbeing of young children and their families in the Adirondack region.
The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance, hosted by Adirondack Foundation, today unveiled the study, "The Wellbeing of Infants and Toddlers in the Adirondacks," which provides a comprehensive analysis across the three categories: Strong Families, Healthy Children and High-Quality Early Learning.
This pioneering study, now in its second edition, emphasizes that the first 1,000 days are the most influential in a child's development. Moreover, the data reveals that early experiences influence children's brain development, overall health and their long-term success in school and life. The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance asserts that investing in the early education sector, healthcare systems and other service providers will help ensure that children and families thrive both socially and economically.
"Although the Adirondack region ranks high in our state according to many health and wellbeing indicators, we found through this report that there are still some pockets of inequity in our region that need the marshaling of resources, services and, most importantly, attention," said Kate Ryan, the new director of the Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance. "Our children and families are among the region's greatest assets and it's imperative that we recognize how to build upon our collective strengths, while addressing our weaknesses."
The Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance is a multi-county coalition of agency representatives, educators, healthcare professionals, service providers and community stakeholders committed to positively impacting the lives of children from birth to three years old. The group is active in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and Warren counties, as well as the Akwesasne Mohawk tribal lands.
The report lays out key demographic data, including live births, prenatal care rates, health insurance coverage rates, childhood immunization rates and childhood obesity rates. It also includes a multi-year trend analysis from 2015-2019 across various socioeconomic indicators including child poverty rates, SNAP (food assistance) benefits, home visiting services, Head Start program enrollment and usage of child care subsidies.
Report highlights include the following:
- Eighty percent of census tracts across the region are child care deserts where there are three or more children per regulated child care slot.
- The region serves less than 43 percent of children six weeks to five years of age in regulated child care.
- Children in the Adirondacks are more likely to be receiving SNAP benefits than most other areas of the state, except New York City.
- Approximately 20-25 percent of all parents in the Adirondack region receive nurse home visits. However, there are geographic disparities between counties.
- Young children in the Adirondacks lag behind in immunization rates, making them more susceptible to life-threatening diseases. Rates vary considerably from 45.5 to 95.4 percent across the region.
The Alliance is taking the following key actions to ensure that all young children are healthy, learning and thriving with families who are fully supported through services and resources:
- Supporting new parents with parenting education courses, new parent kits for pregnant mothers and families with newborns.
- Expanding infant mental health services and advocates to increase the supply of therapists trained to work with preschool students with developmental delays and disabilities.
- Advocating for policies that would support an increase in funding for child care subsidies to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care.
- Pushing for funding to reduce child abuse and neglect and help families move out of poverty.
To view and download the full report, click here.
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