2022 Think Babies™ NC Leadership Community Micro-Grant Recipients
We are excited to introduce the 7 communities that will receive 2022 Think Babies™ NC Leadership Community Micro-Grants in order to support community advocacy efforts focused on infants, toddlers, and their families! This funding is provided by the Think Babies™ NC Alliance, with support from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative and ZERO TO THREE.
Child Care Resource Center, located in Forsyth County, will conduct a training series for early educators and parents on infant-toddler child care. They will also meet with local and state legislators to discuss early education and other prenatal-to-3 issues, and will raise public awareness by highlighting policy priorities in monthly newsletters sent to parents, child care providers, and other members of the community. This work is part of an effort to bring an infant-toddler perspective to existing community collaborations in Forsyth County, including The Forsyth Promise and The Pre-K Priority.
Children’s Council of Watauga County will host a community breakfast at a local restaurant and a family-friendly gathering at a local Recreation Center where families can attend and share their needs. This will provide opportunities to connect with policymakers and have community conversations about the issues in the Prenatal-to-Age 3 Roadmap. This work is part of an ongoing initiative, Elevate Watagua, that focuses on increasing investments at the county level for services to support infants, toddlers, and their families.
Empowered Parents in Community (EPiC), located in Durham County, will host a series of events to connect community members and policymakers around the issue of expanding access to affordable, high-quality child care for infants and toddlers. At the first event, Popsicles on the Playground, local and state policymakers will be invited to attend a playdate to read with children and connect with parents and child care providers. They will then host a panel for child care providers and parents to share detailed information about changes needed to ensure that more infants and toddlers have access to Child Care Subsidy Assistance and that child care programs receive adequate and equitable reimbursement rates. They will also create digital and print materials utilizing the stories of local families and child care providers in order to help raise public awareness. This work is part of an ongoing initiative called Grown in Durham, which is overseeing the implementation of the community’s Early Childhood Action Plan.
Lincoln Heights Community Center, located in Halifax County, will hold a Community Cookout/Community Day to facilitate a discussion with elected officials and members of the community. They will also host a virtual conference on prenatal-to-age 3 issues to engage additional community members and allow more people to participate. In addition to these events, they will work with staff at Halifax Community College to provide three free classes and information sessions on early education, which will offer networking opportunities and connections with local early childhood teachers, potential teachers, and employers, creating a new local advocacy network of early childhood teachers.
The National Birth Coalition, located in Forsyth County, will invite local, state and federal policymakers to engage in a prenatal/postpartum Community Collaborative Listening Session. During the session, they will focus on centering the voices and stories of local BIPOC birth workers, childbirth educators, and lactation consultants. They will also uplift and center the grassroots efforts that BIPOC organizations have made in their community during the pandemic and the work they continue to do to support young children and families.
The Partnership for Children of Wayne County will collaborate with local partners and agencies to hold three events to educate and advocate for prenatal-to-age 3 issues: Breakfast and Babies, Child Care Chat, and BBQ and Babies. By hosting a variety of events and inviting local and state elected officials, they will target new, broader audiences and engage new members of their community.
Smart Start of Transylvania County will work to engage new community members, particularly parents and child care providers, and bring a prenatal-to-age 3 focus to existing initiatives in their county, including the Get Set Transylvania Early Childhood Collaborative, Sesame Street in Communities, and the Western NC Early Childhood Coalition. Their policy engagement efforts will focus on local elected officials by engaging community members to attend community town halls, requesting agenda time at City Council and County Commission meetings, conducting meetings at child care centers for caregivers and early education staff, and facilitating roundtable meetings to allow community members to share their lived experiences with local policymakers.