Get Involved

The mission of the Child Development Council is to promote the healthy development of children and families, at home, in child care and in the community. As part of this mission we seek to advocate for the continuous improvement of healthy child development by means of legislative activism and community education. Here are some of the objectives of our advocacy for children and families, our partners in advocacy, and ways you can get involved.

Parenting Support Objectives

  • Preserve funding for early childhood education through home visiting for infants and toddlers by conveying the importance and value of preventative services and good quality early childhood education.
  • Support the expansion of evidence-informed home visiting programs in rural areas.
  • Increase financial support for families’ basic needs (formula/food, housing, transportation, health care, child care financial assistance and home safety)

Child Care/Early Education Objectives

  • Expand the use of quality block grant funding for Child Care Resource and Referral Services at the local, state and federal levels.
  • Support equal access to child care by providing more accessible financial resources for low income families, increasing subsidy levels, and improving the subsidy management system.
  • Advocate for systems which will help informal providers improve the quality of care and/or join the regulated care system.
  • Promote the expansion of Universal PreK
  • Support funding for quality initiatives for all types of care, including quality rating systems.

Early Intervention Objectives

  • Support the expansion of funding for Early Intervention;
  • Provide input on proposals to reorganize EI program delivery, including payment of therapists and education specialists.


Winning Beginning New York

Winning Beginning NY promotes access to high quality early learning and care, from the prenatal period to school-age, designed to improve outcomes for children and support the needs of working families. They support investments and policies that move the state toward a comprehensive early learning system that promotes children’s healthy social, emotional, cognitive and physical development known to promote success in school and later life. For details on their policy objectives, please read the Winning Beginning New York Legislative Agenda.

Home Visiting
  • Restore $26.8 million in funding for Healthy Families New York (HFNY), an increase of $3.5 million.
  • Provide $5 million in funding to help support the sustainability of Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), an increase of $3 million from last year.
Early Intervention
  • Restore the Early Intervention Program to $230 million (FY 2010-11 allocation)
  • Require private health insurance companies to reimburse Early Intervention services to covered children without restricting evaluations and services to providers who belong to a child’s health insurance network and without allowing insurance companies to participate in determining a child’s EI services.

Early Care and Learning

The mission of the Early Care & Learning Council (ECLC) is to promote excellence in early care and education with equal access for all families. They do this primarily through the support of and in partnership with a strong network of community-based organizations that provide Child Care Resource and Referral services. Below are some of ECLC’s legislative objectives.

Child Care Aware of America

Child Care Aware of America’s advocacy efforts are grassroots-inspired and research-based. They undertake research on the child care landscape, while advocating for child care policies that improve the access and affordability of quality child care for all families. For more information on advocacy and public policy visit Child Care Aware of America.

Early Childhood Development Collaboration

Parents, child care providers, and human service providers representing Tompkins County.

What You Can Do

Tell Your Lawmakers What is Important to You

  • Make a call or send a text message
  • Send an e-mail or write a letter
  • Request a meeting
  • Attend and speak out at public hearings

Read our press release on the NYS 2022 Budget (4/15/21)

Use These Tips for Effective Advocacy

  • Request to be included on our e-blasts of current issues.
  • Join a coalition like Winning Beginnings New York, Zero to Three or Child Care Aware of America.
  • Know your priorities and be willing to put children at the top of the list.
  • Share a personal story of hardship or success.
  • Ask your legislator for their position on an issue.
  • Request an action – vote for or against a bill, add in money for your cause.
  • Have information to back up your position.

Need More Help?

For More Information

Anne Withers, Director of Child Care Resource and Referral, Cortland County
100 Grange Place Suite 205
Cortland NY 13045
Cortland County, New York

Molly McGriff, Director of Child Care Resource and Referral, Tompkins County
609 West Clinton Street
Ithaca NY 14850
(607) 273-0259
Tompkins County, New York