Share a bright spot from you or your Council’s work over the last two months:
The BBF Regional Council was excited to host three sessions for the Child Development Division’s STARS Phase 2 Tour for Franklin/Grand Isle. With support from the Vermont Department of Health, over 20 early care providers and a dozen other early childhood stakeholders in the community came together over a two day period to hear about proposed changes to the STARS quality recognition system for child care programs and the state’s plan to utilize feedback from across the state as the system further develops. The region is eager to share in further discussions with the state in late fall and early winter.
Share a program or practice that is working well in your region
In the last two months, the Franklin/Grand Isle BBF Regional Council has utilized the meetings to discuss our community partnerships and how our council can be a table where early childhood stakeholders can make strides towards reaching our goals. The council reviewed, updated and agreed upon our FY19-FY21 Regional Action Plan, identifying 3 initiative results for 2019 to include, “All families have sufficient, nutritious food”, “All families are healthy with thriving children who are safe within a trauma informed community” and “All families have affordable, quality early care experiences that meet their needs”. Specific strategies have been named for each initiative result and the council continues to make progress in creating positive change for the region’s early childhood population.
Share information about a new partnership developed in your region
While this acts as an ongoing relationship throughout the region, the BBF Regional Council is excited to be welcoming the Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance to its monthly council meeting on July 18th, 2019. The council has continued to work really hard to engage on a statewide level, even beginning planning for next year’s legislative session through discussion and action steps. The Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance will be providing a legislative “wrap-up” and offer insights to how our region can be more directly and thoughtfully involved to raise the Franklin/Gand Isle Regional voice at the state house. The council is eager to hear from the Alliance and to welcome some new members, including new early care providers in the region, to create an open discussion of our next steps.
Share a creative solution to an emerging problem in your region
As the council has discovered in the past, engaging in community drives to meet immediate, expressed needs for the children and families has been a successful effort in the last several months. Thus, the BBF Council has facilitated/collaborated with the Parent Child Center to begin a region-wide Infant/Toddler Drive for the month of June. Donations were collected at over 10 community sites and will support the Parent Child Center, Family Birthing Center and Community Action. Community-driven, collective impact has been such a success for this council and a celebration for all of Franklin/Grand Isle counties!
Share an example of how you or your Council are providing leadership to improve how your region supports young children and families
For the past 5-10 years, Franklin and Grand Isle agencies have recognized that although their missions might be different, their populations served are often the same, their goals of building healthy communities, families, and individuals are similar, and agencies oftentimes have complementary strengths. With that understanding the Franklin Grand Isle Tobacco Prevention Coalition, Northwestern Counseling & Support Services/Parent Child Center, and Franklin County Home Health Agency have shared funding and skills to reduce duplication and increase effectiveness in helping families, parents, and children birth-school age to become and stay healthy.
Here’s how it works: The Franklin Grand Isle Tobacco Prevention Coalition provides mini-grants to Building Bright Futures as stipends for playgroup liaisons, and support for the Franklin County Home Health Agency’s “Strong Families” program. Using their funds to support existing community programs allows the Tobacco Coalition to strengthen what already exists, while reaching populations with tobacco cessation and smoke-free messages. Pregnancies and young children who are not exposed to tobacco, whether parents take it outside or actively work toward cessation, have boosts in health and learning outcomes for children. It’s a benefit for all. anti-tobacco community coalitions; RiseVT.