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Funding is Awarded from New York State’s Preschool Development Birth Through Five Grant
The New York State Council on Children and Families today announced $330,000 in awards to 11 non-profit agencies statewide under a federal grant aimed at strengthening and better coordinating New York’s early childhood system. The funding will provide “Baby Bundle” new parent kits to families with newborns to help the whole family build a strong foundation and to keep the baby developmentally on track so the child is prepared for a successful transition into child care and kindergarten.
“As a mother, I remember the uncertainty and myriad questions that arise in caring for a newborn,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the New York State Child Care Availability Task Force. “The Baby Bundles give new parents guidance and information to help them make the decisions that are best for their family. This early support will give them a foundation to make positive differences throughout their child’s lifetime. We want to make sure that parents have the resources they need to care for their children and help to ensure healthy and positive growth and success in the future.”
The Preschool Development Birth Through Five grant is administered by the New York State Council on Children and Families, which is hosted by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
“A child’s earliest years are the most critical in determining future outcomes and accomplishments. New parents need every tool to support them through this challenging but rewarding time in their child’s life,” said OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “The Baby Bundles provide a wealth of state and local resources right at a parent’s fingertips.”
“This initiative builds upon our early care and education efforts to help us provide a seamless system of support and care for New York’s children from the day they are born until they begin school,” said New York State Council on Children and Families Executive Director Renée L. Rider. “The Baby Bundles help us bring health care and education together to make sure children have every chance for success in school and later in life.”
“This funding is helping us to achieve our vision of an early care and education network that informs parents about the many supports that are available to them as they embark on the exciting journey of parenthood. But we know that parents can encounter trepidation on that road,” said New York State Head Start Collaboration Director and Early Childhood Advisory Council Co-Chair Patty Persell. “The Baby Bundles will provide the information needed to ease their anxieties and provide the supports needed for children to thrive and flourish.”
Each Baby Bundle will be provided to new parents (birth, adoption, foster) in a reusable “Talking is Teaching” tote bag with messages that encourage parents to talk, read and sing with their children, and will include the following books, brochures and helpful resources for families:
·         “Starting Life Together: the New York State Parent Guide” – information and resources on children’s growth and development in the early years
·       - “What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick”
·       - A Children’s board book for parents to read with their child
·       - “Can Your Baby Hear You” (early hearing screening) from the New York State Department of Health and “Follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep”
·       - information about the New York State Parent Portal – how to find child care, navigate multiple systems and local resources
·       - “Family Guide to New York State Early Childhood Services – Prenatal Through Age 5” with information on child care, Head Start, home visiting, Early Intervention, prekindergarten, preschool special education and parent support
·       - “Talking is Teaching” materials – posters are available for download at
Award winners received an amount commensurate with the number of babies born in their region each year. They will participate in an online orientation about using tracking tools, evaluation data and will learn how to talk with parents about all the items in the Baby Bundle.
The award recipients are:
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center          
Western New York
The Wyoming County Health Department    
Finger Lakes
Oswego County Opportunities, Inc.     
Central New York
Adirondack Foundation - Birth to Three Alliance           
North Country
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County 
Mohawk Valley
NYS Federation of Growers and Processors, Inc. (d/b/a Agri-Business Child Development [ABCD])           
Capital Region
Delaware Opportunities Inc.  
Southern Tier
Ossining Union Free School District
Family of Woodstock, Inc.     
Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk-Suffolk County Smart Start
Long Island
Bronx Healthy Start Partnership-Albert Einstein College of Medicine   
New York City