Our earliest experiences from prenatal to age three are critical to healthy brain development. And, when counties invest in strong early childhood systems and policies, a whole community benefits from better social, economic and health outcomes. So, how can your county generate political will and community engagement around a prenatal-to-three agenda? Here are some initial steps and opportunities for counties:
Convene a Prenatal-to-Three (PN-3) Stakeholder Group
Consider the vision for young children in your community and assemble a diverse, cross-sector leadership team who can be the driving force for the well-being of infants and toddlers in your county. Collaborative stakeholder groups are an effective first step because they establish a set of early childhood champions who can help to serve as a leading coordinating body for local initiatives. By leveraging their expertise, they can help to identify community assets and deficits, set priorities, build the case for early investments and push towards the intended results. Tips on how counties can build a strong early childhood stakeholder group can be found on NACo’s website here.
Pass a Resolution
A resolution (or proclamation) is a ceremonial document passed by a local legislative body as a declaration to recognize or honor a specific cause, event or individual. Although the adoption of a resolution seems symbolic, it can help to build awareness around a particular issue area, educate decision-makers, create new champions and serve as a catalyst for kicking off or enhancing prenatal-to-three efforts in your county.
For this purpose, NACo has developed a prenatal-to-three resolution template for counties to pass to demonstrate their support in prioritizing early childhood initiatives and investments. This resource serves as guide for counties and NACo encourages communities to incorporate their own local messaging and data points to supplement the template. If your county does pass a resolution, please share a signed copy with NACo staff to gain national recognition for your county’s commitment to young children by emailing email@example.com.
Join a rural, suburban or urban Peer Learning Network
Peer Learning Networks are quarterly webinars of smaller networking groups for small/rural, mid-size/suburban and large/urban counties to share early childhood best practices. These groups allow counties to engage in interactive discussions with their peers across the country to share what’s working and help to spark innovative, actionable ideas for infants and toddlers.
The first Peer Learning Network webinars will launch in March and feature resources for building a case for prenatal-to-three investments and county models who have successfully convened early childhood stakeholder teams. Please see below for this year’s schedule and sign up here today for updates!
Small/Rural Peer Learning Network
Tuesday, March 19, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST - Register here!
Tuesday, June 18, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Tuesday, September 17, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Tuesday, December 10, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Mid-size/Suburban Peer Learning Network
Thursday, March 20, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST - Register here!
Thursday, June 20, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Thursday, September 19, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Thursday, December 12, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Large/Urban Peer Learning Network
Friday, March 22, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST - Register here!
Friday, June 21, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Friday, September 20, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
Friday, December 13, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
*Please note these dates and times may be subject to change.
Join us at the NACo Legislative Conference
Over the past year, in partnership with the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers (NCIT), NACo has been providing intensive technical assistance to a cohort of counties that have set an ambitious goal to impact their most at-risk children from prenatal to age three. Please join us on Saturday, March 2nd at 12:00 p.m. for lunch at, “Leading Local Efforts to Reach Young Children,” to hear from three of those counties who will share their process spearheading early childhood development efforts in their community.
NACo is a partner of the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers (NCIT). Funded through the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), NCIT brings together national partners, early childhood leaders, philanthropy, policymakers, and practitioners from inside and outside of state and local government to create and strengthen promising policies and programs so that more states and communities can support the healthy development of our youngest children.
For more information about NCIT or to access resources designed for communities and states pursuing policies for infants and toddlers, please visit: www.thencit.org.