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LGCYCF recently 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.

We’re Expanding our Collaborative

Become a Member!

Due to the broad goals of this project, LGCYCF is seeking to broaden cross-sector representation to include:

 

  • Early childhood care and education, including Head Start, public or private family- or center-based childcare, as well as public or private schools serving children birth through age 8

  • Behavioral health system serving children and their families

  • Healthcare for children through age 8 and their families (including prenatal services)

  • Support for children with disabilities/developmental delays

  • Economic assistance

  • Employment support system

  • Family and community support groups, including family resource centers, community action partnership agencies, or faith-based groups

  • Child protection system

Membership Expectations

  • Serve as critical community champions for our most vulnerable children and their families.

  • Attend and contribute to monthly collaborative meetings and/or workgroup team meetings, to help identify the needs and build a regional strategic response.

  • Share professional expertise, diverse knowledge of constituent perspectives, and connections to local resources.

  • Stipends will reimburse organizations for their participation

Background

The Lower Grafton Council for Young Children and Families (LGCYCF) was formed in 2008, when a wide range of programs/services (e.g. health, mental health, child care, public preschool, Head Start, Early Supports and Services, home visiting, parent education programs, family and social services) convened to promote the well-being of children Birth-5 and their families. In 2012-13, using NH’s Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Competencies, we developed and offered a free, cross-sector professional development series on: Family-Centered Practice; Promoting Young Children’s Social-Emotional Development; and Early Childhood and Family Mental Health. In 2019, we received a grant from the NH Department of Education to become an iSocial Community Collaborative. We are entering our third year of working on building capacity and infrastructure to implement the Pyramid Model and Positive Solutions for Families.

Mission

To provide a forum focusing on comprehensive activities in support of all families with young children ages birth – 8 in lower Grafton County. To identify needs and gaps in services, and, as a community, develop collaborative strategies to address these needs. 

 

Our goals are to:

  • Collaborate with families, caregivers, and communities to effectively support young children (birth through age 8),

  • Improve overall quality and integration of services for families, caregivers, and communities,

  • Implement and evaluate promising programs to support young children and their families.

Service Area

Towns identified as part of lower Grafton County include: Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Campton, Dorchester, Ellsworth, Groton, Hebron, Holderness, Lincoln, New Hampton, Plymouth, Rumney, Thornton, Warren, Waterville Valley, Wentworth, and Woodstock

Current Member Organizations

Whole Village Family Resource Center

Grow and Thrive Counseling

Center for Young Children and Families, Plymouth State University

Plymouth Head Start 

SAU 48 

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lakes Region 

Tri-County CAP — Head Start

Lakes Region Mental Health Center

Mid-State Health Center, Children’s Learning Center

Voices Against Violence

Plymouth Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

Lakes Region Community Developers

Findings and Taking Action

Our research is completed and we shared our findings on November 17, 2021. This webinar included an overview of needs assessment data, methods, and action items. To learn more about the webinar please click here.

Join the Collaborative for our Action Planning sessions. Click here to learn more and get the invitation link! 

Preschool Development Grant