By Katie Gardella, Resource Development Director
Earlier this year a report was released by the RAND Corporation called “Advancing Investments in the Early Years.” The report, commissioned by the NH Endowment for Health, confirms that evidence-based programs – like professional home visiting and high-quality preschool education – are effective.
One of the key findings of the report is that a sizable number of young children in New Hampshire face risks in early childhood that may compromise healthy development, with consequences for their success in school and beyond. And we already know from previous research that Cheshire County has a higher rate of child abuse and neglect than all but three counties in New Hampshire. This is a crucial issue that Monadnock United Way (MUW) is addressing in a number of ways:
The Monadnock Home Visiting Alliance (MHVA) is working to increase its reach by 20 percent – to nearly 600 families in the area. The alliance members have increased their community outreach and are already seeing referrals coming in from new organizations.
Impact Monadnock, our signature early childhood initiative, will continue to target all children from birth to age 5 and their families. It is working to prepare children for academic, career and life success, through programs like the StartSmart program – a program that encourages childhood literacy.
MUW provides funding to programs in the area that provide preschool education, allowing them to offer scholarships to families who may not otherwise have been able to afford the programs and who may have been deemed ineligible for NH Child Care Scholarship Funds.
It is wonderful to have confirmation that the work MUW engages in through Impact Monadnock and funded partners like the MHVA is on the right track and in alignment with many of the recommendations in the study.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the very generous support of our generous donors. Your investment is going toward making our region a better place for all!