Our mission is to significantly impact the lives of children from birth to three years old.
These include the Akwesasne Mohawk tribal territories and the counties of Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, and Warren.
Children’s health is a priority for the Adirondack Health Department.
From 2015 through 2019, it looks at trends in child poverty, SNAP benefits, home visiting services, Head Start enrollment and child care subsidy use.
Highlights of the report include:
• In the region, 80% of census tracts had three or more children per licenced child care slot.
• The region’s regulated child care serves less than 43% of infants to 5-year-olds.
• Except for New York City, the Adirondacks have the highest SNAP participation rate among children.
Less poverty in the North Country.
“But it shows our families are using some of the things we can provide,” said Kate Ryan, the Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance’s new director.
“I believe the prenatal to three industry’s main priority is raising happy, healthy, and resilient children. One source of familial stress will be eliminated if we can eliminate food insecurity.”
In the Adirondacks, 20-25 per cent of parents receive nurse home visits.
However, there are regional differences.
The two categories of home services are:
“Prenatal and postnatal home visits are focused on making sure the family is ready for the baby and has everything prepared.
“Healthy Families is a more extensive home visiting programme that investigates. This programme provides frequent parenting materials and general support to families with young children.
The Adirondacks have low immunisation rates for young children, leaving them vulnerable to deadly infections. Rates range from 45.5 to 95.4%.
“I thought that was interesting,” Ryan replied.
“The stats don’t actually reflect the barrier. Children are getting Well-Child Visits, which could include vaccines. I’m not sure about the parent choice part of immunizations.”
With full support from services and resources, the Alliance is working to ensure that all young children are healthy, learning, and flourishing.
Parenting education classes and new parent packages for expectant moms and families with infants.
Increasing the supply of therapists educated to work with preschool students with developmental delays and impairments.
Working to boost financing for child care subsidies to increase access to high-quality, affordable child care.
Increasing money to combat child abuse and neglect and support poor families.
Currently, Baby Bundles are sourced to local charities.
“They have a book that covers things like what to do if your child is sick,” Ryan remarked.
“There is also general parenting information and some behavioural help information. There are some lovely early learning books to enjoy with your child.
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“There’s also material on language and development. It’s a terrific place to start for parents, but also for community providers who may come into contact with the family. It’s a great collection of resources that everyone may use.”
Ryan believes it’s vital for parents to know that a child’s brain develops at the greatest rate from birth to three.
In later life, brain growth and exposure to experiences can affect later life experiences, access to jobs, and future mental health, she said.
A child’s first three years can shape their lives. Positive experiences make them resilient individuals, whereas negative ones cause stress on the brain, leading to future health issues, including biological issues like heart disease and obesity.
“I think there is a desire to build resilience in our young children so they can continue on a road of resilience and good health.”
Ryan is pleased with her new job.
Having access to so many community resources and being able to explore and communicate with people active in so many of them is exciting to her.
“It’s fantastic to have the time now. Early childhood experiences and development are becoming increasingly crucial. It shows our current community status. Am I more confident than before? What’s next? What works? Use what we do well and enhance where we need to.”