Funds to Expand Three Early Childhood Initiatives in Rochester

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Posted: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 7:40 pm | Updated: 7:50 pm, Tue Jul 11, 2017.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced $4.75 million to support the expansion of early childhood anti-poverty initiatives as part of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. Funding will support new summer learning programs, and child care and home visiting services for children and caregivers in the city of Rochester pilot neighborhoods targeted by the Anti-Poverty Initiative, including the EMMA neighborhood.

"Fighting poverty and providing opportunity to all New Yorkers is a top priority of this administration," said Governor Cuomo. "Through these strategic investments and collaborative community efforts, we are helping to ensure young New Yorkers receive quality care, access to new learning opportunities, and are moving the Finger Lakes Forward toward a more equitable and prosperous future."

A new two-year pilot program will provide children throughout Rochester with an opportunity to grow into self-sufficient adults. Program initiatives include:

Over the next two years, beginning prenatally or shortly after birth, this effort will work to expand the Nurse-Family Partnership, Building Healthy Children, and Parents as Teachers initiatives, which are focused on low-income, young, new families. Through proven, effective income-related health and education support programs, this new effort will assist an additional 116 families in Monroe County overall.

The summerLEAP program expansion will target 305 more pre-K children in the city of Rochester in summer 2017 than in 2016, and 407 more in summer 2018. The initiative is an intensive, six-week, classroom-based summer learning program which is proven to be effective at improving kindergarten readiness, while preventing the so-called 'summer slide.'

The expansion of the child care plan will target 300 more children across Monroe County and will offer 18 months of child care support for working parents, which in turn will help them retain employment. This effort will also focus on supporting parents through mentoring and other navigating projects.

Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding will support the two-year demonstration program totaling up to $4.75 million. The Office of Children and Family Services will administer $3 million to expand child care subsidies through Monroe County; and the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, via the United Way of Greater Rochester and its existing Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative contract, will administer $1.075 million for the summer learning program, and $675,000 for expanded home visitation efforts.

Last November, the Governor announced nearly $16 million to support three Rochester-based projects aimed at reducing poverty in the Finger Lakes region, Monroe Community College's new Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center at Eastman Business Park, the "Bridges to Success" pilot program, and the long-standing Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program. These projects were the first to receive funding through the "One Community Plan."

Research shows that for children in poverty, exposure to violence, poor diet, and lack of mental stimulation contribute to higher rates of teen parenthood and school drop-out rates. The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative was created in 2015 to work in partnership with Governor Cuomo's Rochester Anti-Poverty Task Force to develop new and innovative ways to reduce poverty.

The Initiative has adopted a collective impact model that has since become the basis for the creation of the Empire State Poverty-Reduction Initiative in 2016 to bring the same community-based effort to all areas in need throughout the state.

SOURCE: Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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