Franklin Grand Isle Regional Council Recap – July 2018
Regional Successes and Strategies
Our diaper drive has had a consistent presence in the community for nearly four months at 8 different locations in our region including grocery stores, mental health agencies, our local hospital and faith based communities. We have yet to compile a final number of diapers collected as the drive is still occurring; however our estimate is that we have collected 700 diapers thus far. The diapers are being distributed to our local community action agency, food shelves, home health agency, and parent child center.
Our number of groups offered for families has nearly doubled in the past year as we continue to acknowledge the need for dynamic family support groups. Among the list are Baby 101, Babies and Brunch, Baby Bumps, Parenting the Strong Willed Child and Strengthening Families curriculum, nature based groups, and at least one playgroup in each community. This data is collected through the Parent Child Center and will be reviewed by the end of the fiscal year. In the past the reach has been over 400 families throughout Franklin and Grand Isle counties.
Our Child Care Action Team subcommittees, made up of a diverse group of stakeholders, have focused on a number of initiatives to increase provider retention and support. These efforts include a billboard on our local bookmobile as a recruitment effort which will remain up for 8 months, and a provider/parent needs assessment that received over 195 responses from community members. A presentation has been developed on the findings and this has circulated to various tables in the region in an effort to inform the public on the state of child care needs in our community.
As a strategy to support retention of existing providers, mini grants of $1,000 were awarded to providers who applied through the promise community fund and had an identified need. Presently, a total of 37 providers have received grants to improve the environments for children in care as well as remain in compliance with the regulations.
Our council has begun planning the implementation of Welcome to Kindergarten bags for every child entering kindergarten in the Franklin and Grand Isle schools. The decision to use available funding towards this effort speaks volumes to the level of commitment the council has to ensuring all families feel supported.