Developing and sustaining strong working relationships within our community and among our sister agencies in the region is pivotal to the Child Development Council's long-term success and sustainability. The main objectives of these partnerships are to improve the system of support for children and the different caregivers in their lives.
It seems we always have a new project underway. Some current examples include:
Infant/Toddler Health Initiative -This initiative is designed to improve and enhance access to health care services that promote the healthy growth and development of very young children. Overall, our goal is to make sure families are connected with a medical home and consistently practice preventative health care. Supporters of this initiative include the Tompkins Trust Company, BorgWarner Automotive, Legacy Foundation and First Presbyterian Church.
Early Education Partnership - The Early Education Partnership was formed between the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and the Child Development Council, with support from a number of government, non-profit and proprietary businesses in the community. Our vision is to create a universal scholarship program that ensures affordable quality child care for all families. This partnership convened in early 2000 and brought immediate recognition of early care and education as an important business in its own right, and was a necessary social infrastructure to support broader community and economic development. The partnership supported the development of several components that continue today:
Economic Impact Study - This study was conducted with the assistance of Mildred Warner and students from Cornell University's City and Regional Planning and has been replicated in more than 70 communities across the United States.
Funding for Early Care and Education - The partnership increased the availability of governmental supports for low wage earners in Tompkins County. For subsidy information, contact our Referral Counselor or the Department of Social Services.
Tax Assistance for Working Parents - The Council provides information on free tax preparation through Alternatives Federal Credit Union and National Women's Law Center.
Business Assistance - The Council offers an array of technical assistance and training for running a small business in the home. Record keeping, getting ready for taxes, marketing the child care business and financial management are just some of the topics addressed. At times, these programs are provided in collaboration with AFCU, the Chamber of Commerce or other entities.
SIDEBAR Administrative Support Project - The Child Development Council has been a stable non-profit business in Tompkins County since 1967. We have had the opportunity to offer administrative support to smaller non-profits in the County and Region. The most common request is help with Flexible Spending Accounts benefits system for their employees. This started as a way to help businesses of all types increase child care benefits, but it has the added value of equitable benefits across the age and family composition dynamic.
In other instances, community programs have developed grants that include funding for child care. We hold the funds in a "custodial account" tagged for this purpose; funds are released to parents and/or providers depending upon the agreement established by the two agencies.