The Central Region is currently served by three early childhood collaboratives: Thrive Laconia, the Greater Tilton Area Regional Early Childhood Collaborative and the Lower Grafton Council for Young Children and Families. Implementation funding requested meets the needs identified in each part of our region through Needs Assessments and Strategic Plans completed during the first phase of work. While pilot programs vary somewhat within the collaboratives, results will be shared throughout the region for potential adoption by the other collaboratives.
Pyramid Model Implementation Project
The Lower Grafton Council for Young Children and Families has been implementing the Pyramid Model Framework since 2019 and has expanded beyond to encompass more of the region. Pyramid model implementation has begun at Alton School District and the Plymouth State University Center for Young Children and Families.
PSU CYCF Implementation: This grant will enable us to build internal capacity to provide practice-based coaching, fidelity assessments, run Peer Learning Communities around Pyramid Model Modules and diversity training, all of which are key components of implementing the Pyramid Model to fidelity. Funds from this grant would help to build capacity by providing substitute teachers to allow staff time to attend trainings as well as providing funding for training.
Boys and Girls Club Expansion: The Boys and Girls Club has begun Pyramid Model implementation in 2 classrooms located in the Laconia Early Learning Center. This proposal calls for an expansion to 4 additional classrooms this year in 2 additional locations: Belmont and Eastman (Concord), impacting 35 children. Funding requested also includes pyramid model training for the entire early childhood staff of approximately 45 staff across all 6 centers. This training is the first step in Boys and Girls Club goal of full implementation throughout its 28 classrooms, impacting 450 children.
Sustainability Plan: Building internal capacity through training to provide practice-based coaching. Beyond the grant period, we would then be able to handle most if not all coaching internal to our sites, would be able to administer most fidelity assessments within our sites and would be able to swap these services with other Pyramid Model implementation sites in our community collaborative.
This additional coaching and training will lay the foundation for program wide implementation. Staff retention over the past 15 months is 83.3% within all early childhood programs.
Universal Screening: Enhanced Implementation for Children birth-5
Each of our three collaboratives will conduct an environmental scan to understand the current level of developmental screenings, the participating providers, and the tools in use. A community developmental screening plan will then be developed by each collaborative and implemented to increase the percentage of children throughout the region who are screened.
We will partner with NH Family Voices, the NH Watch Me Grow Centralized Access Point (NHFV CAP) established to further the provision of child development screenings and data collection. NH Family Voices will provide trainings and ASQ kits to FRCs and community partners such as childcares in the region. The FRCs and childcares will complete ASQ child development screenings using the ASQ online management system with fidelity. Completion of ASQ will be done by following the guidance of the NHFV CAP. Participating agencies will also provide referral information to NH Family Voices to ensure that all families of children who have identified concerns are connected to the services they need.
Sustainability Plan: Kits are a one-time cost to be funded through funds already provided to NHFV. FRC and childcare staff who are trained will be qualified to train others in the future, making this self-sustaining.
Welcome Baby/Welcome Child Program
All collaboratives within the region believe that parents need access to resources as early as possible to maximize the benefits to both parents and children. Within our region, surveys and focus groups with families indicate that they are not fully aware of the resources available to them and are overwhelmed by the application process and requirements.
Welcome Baby works with families to maximize the health, safety, and security of the baby; build a strong parent-child relationship; and facilitate access to support services when needed. Welcome Baby Home Visitors provide a great introduction to all the community resources new parents could need to give their child the best start possible. These may include WIC and food resources, healthcare, childcare, ongoing home visiting programs, etc. Families will receive a beautiful gift bag customized to meet their needs. They will be filled with items such as baby essentials; books for baby, siblings, and parents; onesies with safe sleep messaging; toddler t-shirt; Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug board book by the Charlie's Kids Foundation, whose mission is educating families about SIDS prevention; Vroom tip cards; Happy Healthy Lead Free Me book through NH DHHS; concrete supports such as diapers, wipes, blankets, hats, mittens, hand manipulatives, toys, parent indicated special needs, etc. Some contents will be determined by community partners, such as toothbrushes, tongue finger wipes, and other appropriate donations.
This program will be expanded to include outreach to young families in need of resources, including families with toddlers, not just newborns. Number of births last year: Belknap County: 478. Lower Grafton towns: 204 Total: 682
Sustainability Plan: Lead agencies plan to incorporate the additional home visiting in their annual family resource center budgets beginning in 2023.
Resource Coordination Project
Online resource guide will be developed for frequently needed services and housed on the LGCYCF website. Marketing campaign will be developed to drive awareness of the guide, including cross-promotion from all LGCYCF partner organizations.
Resource Coordination training for school and childcare staffs. Childcare and school-based personnel recognized the need to better understand the resources available to families. A training will be developed and delivered by coalition members.
Parent information nights and resource coordinator drop-in hours will be developed and delivered at schools, childcares, other community locations throughout the LGCYCF area, focusing on underserved rural towns.
Sustainability Plan: Once training is developed, collaborative partners will develop plan of delivery that can be incorporated within existing agency resources. Similarly, once online guide is created, existing resources will be used to maintain it. Collaborative members will use track record of parent information nights and drop-in hours to request additional funding through grants and donations to maintain programming.
LGCYCF received funding through the statewide Preschool Development Grant to build regional capacity for cross-sector collaboration and alignment and to coordinate existing resources and services to help realize the state's vision that all families are afforded comprehensive and responsive supports, so they are healthy, learning, and thriving now and in the future. New Hampshire aspires to a family-centric early childhood system that is inclusive, responsive, efficient, and evidence-informed.
Project goals focus on:
Positive early learning experiences. Effective learning opportunities are provided in all settings, including the home, childcare, afterschool programs, preschools, elementary schools, family resource centers, libraries, museums, and other settings that support the learning and development of young children.
Healthy children and families. Children and families throughout New Hampshire have access to the best opportunities for early and life-long health.
Strong families. Families have the capacity, including skills, basic resources, and supports, to promote their children’s development and learning before birth and continuing through age eight and beyond.
Coordination. New Hampshire’s young children and their families are supported at home or in quality early childhood programs that promote coordination among families, caregivers, and communities to support those children.
This work is particularly focused on serving vulnerable and underserved populations, defined as children and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness, receiving free/reduced-price lunch, having limited English proficiency, experiencing child maltreatment or involvement with the child welfare system, or exposure to domestic violence.