Early life experiences significantly impact brain development and predict health status later in life, studies show. Infants and toddlers need safe, stable and stimulating environments to thrive, and yet many babies enter life facing adversities that can have cumulative and long-term consequences.
By the time children enter kindergarten, a significant achievement gap exists between low-income or minority children as compared to higher income or non-minority children. This gap tends to widen over time.
The Rural Resort Region Northeast Early Childhood Council is an organization that invests in these impressionable years. Bringing together key allies in the communities of Grand and Summit counties, the organization works effectively to increase the quality, accessibility and equity of early childhood services.
“Being a small community, everyone really knows each other, and you can harness that to your advantage,” says Katy Lois, Health Integration Coordinator, Rural Resort Region Northeast Early Childhood Council.
Its accomplishments have included creating an electronic app to track a child’s development, alert health care and child care providers to screening results, and suggest appropriate activities. The council has successfully pushed to integrate oral health screenings into child care and school settings, improved the capacity of child care providers to support the socialemotional health of small children, and broken down silos that artificially separate early learning from family support and overall health.
It is now easier for families and children in Grand and Summit counties to get the services they need at the right time and the right place because of the work of the Rural Resort Regional Northeast Early Childhood Council.
For these reasons and more, the council received the 2015 John R. Moran, Jr. Grantee Leadership Award and a $25,000 grant supporting its crucial work.
Watch this video to learn more about the Rural Resort Region Northeast Early Childhood Council.