By Anne E. Mead
Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership and the State of Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood are working in harmony for Connecticut’s children and families. The Danbury Promise is committed to “ensuring that all Danbury children age birth to eight are healthy and ready for school and lifelong learning”(Promise, 2015) while the Office of Early Childhood’s goals are very similar. Their vision is that “all young children in CT are safe, healthy, learning and thriving. Each child is surrounded by a strong network of nurturing adults who deeply value the importance of the first years of a child’s life and have the skills, knowledge, support and passion to meet the unique needs of every child” (CT OEC, 2016). These visions serve as the guideposts to providing equity and fairness to all of our children.
Locally, in Danbury, the Promise is a collaboration of organizations that serve families birth to age eight and some beyond that age. It ensures that programs are open to all families and, in fact, encourage family participation in their programs. For example, one of the collaborating agencies of the Promise offers home visits that help families create a home environment that is safe, nurturing and promotes healthy development and learning. Other examples are agencies that support early childhood training for child care providers, early childhood teachers, family child care providers, and relatives and neighbors that care for children. Lastly, the focus on health ensures that services are available to families for regular health care, mental and dental health. Consequently, what does that mean for my child? There are opportunities throughout Danbury for families to attend, whether it is a morning playgroup for mom or dad and their children, to art activities, community events, counseling, parent education and meeting new families.
To find out more about the wealth of organizations in Danbury that serve our children and their families, the Danbury Promise for Children Partnership website hosts local organizations and their services in English and Spanish at http://www.danburypromiseforchildren.org/uploads/1/2/3/3/12338465/most_recent_resources_for_new_parents_in_danbury.pdf or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Promise4Children/.
For a fuller directory of services, visit http://www.danburypromiseforchildren.org/directory.html.
You can also sign-up for the Promises Newsletter at http://www.danburypromiseforchildren.org/parent-registration-form.html.
Furthermore, as a community, we invite families to be engaged with the Promise, to serve on its committees so that the parent/family voice is heard. As mentioned before, parents are their child’s first teacher and as such, we want parents’ input as the Promise gains momentum in reaching its vision. Please feel free to contact the Promise directly at 203-826-8279 and for Spanish, at 203-826-6728.
Please tell me what other topics you are interested in learning about. Feel free to email me at email@example.com. Please remember we are all working together to ensure that all of our children have the best possible start they can have and are ready to be lifelong learners. And to do that we need your help!!
Anne E. Mead, M. Ed., is the administrator for the Early Childhood Education and Extended Learning Programs of the Danbury Public Schools. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her at 203-830-6508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.