Imagine being four-years-old and losing your favorite stuffed animal and familiar routines because your home was destroyed by a flood. You watch your parents cry and keep asking, “When can we go home? I want my stuffed tiger.” You do not exactly understand what is happening, but you are sad and scared.
Once every 10 years, our nation undergoes the gargantuan task of “counting every one, only once, and in the right place.”
An accurate census count is critical to the federal government accurately distributing more than $800 billion in federal funds each year. Accurate counts in the census affect federal funding distributions for many public programs i, including child care subsidies and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). They also help allocate funding more equitably for other programs children rely on like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, foster care, adoption assistance, Section 8 of the House Act of 1937, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and community health centers.
I'm Tricia Howland, the Director of Family & Community Engagement at Brightside Up, Inc. I’ve been at the agency for 20 years helping parents find child care, engaging in community events and facilitating family workshops. Vroom has been an exciting addition to the work we do at the Brightside Up, Inc. The Brightside Up agency was one of the first ten Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&R) to become an ambassador in a pilot project of the Child Care Aware® of America Vroom Partnership initiative.
By bringing Vroom to the Capital District area of Albany, New York, we were able to share the brain building benefits of play with the community we serve. It has allowed us to boost family engagement and provide information on the importance of relationship building, all while supporting the early years of a child’s development.
Brain development is a complex process involving chemical and electrical interactions. We now have decades of research describing how learning occurs and how brains develop. We have equipment that allows us to watch the brain in action and we now know about synaptic pruning.
None of that really matters to a mom who just wants to do the best she can to help her child thrive.
None of that really matters to a dad who lives for the moments that he sees his child’s eyes light up in wonder. What matters to them is that they can do something to help their child learn, grow and prosper – to fulfill the promise that exists between parent and child from the moment of birth.
That’s where Vroom comes in.
The Child Care Resource Network (TCCRN) is the child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency housed within Right Steps Child Development Centers. We provide services to family, ECE and OST programs, and the communities of 12 counties in northwest Indiana. TCCRN, in partnership with Right Steps Child Development Centers, was selected as one of ten child care resource and referral agencies in the nation to serve as a Vroom Ambassador. As a selected agency, we have strategically embedded Vroom brain-building tips and materials into our local community.
As one of the first ambassadors in the cadre of Vroom Ambassadors for Child Care Aware® of America, the Office of Early Learning (OEL) continues to promote Vroom throughout the state of Florida. Vroom is such a unique resource for families that it is easy to connect Vroom to many other initiatives promoted by our agency and our partners. It has become routine to include links or references to Vroom in many of our projects and plans and to encourage the 30 early learning coalitions within the state to do so. Vroom is routinely referenced in the Family Engagement Plans for the early learning coalitions and included as a staple in presentations and events at conferences and events with partners.