Friday, 24 March 2023 19:24

Oswego County Early Childhood Alliance Work Underway

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Oswego County Early Childhood Alliance Work Underway Submitted photo

Organizational partners in Oswego County are coming together to support Early Childhood; representatives on the Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) committee recently met to discuss the goals of the initiative.

An ECA brings together community leaders, business leaders, early childhood stakeholders, healthcare providers and educators to identify gaps, leverage community resources and build a comprehensive system of services.

During the meeting, Integrated Community Planning, Inc. Executive Director Brandy Koproski said the ECA will directly impact the health and well-being of children from birth to age 5 in Oswego County.

“I’m looking forward to working with everyone here,” said New York State Senator John W. Mannion. “As Chairman of the Committee on Disabilities, my heart is certainly in the world and space of early childhood.”

One of the initiatives being taken by the Oswego County ECA is to become an affiliate for Help Me Grow, a system model that works to promote cross-sector collaboration in order to build efficient and effective early childhood systems that mitigate the impact of adversity and support protective factors among families, so that all children can grow, develop and thrive to their full potential.

Dr. Liz Isakson, Executive Director of Docs for Tots that houses Help Me Grow Long Island, joined the Oswego County ECA meeting to share her experience pioneering the effort to launch Help Me Grow in Long Island, speaking to what worked well and what could have went better.

“I’m thrilled that you are taking an alliance approach to this,” said Isakson. “This is exactly a model that a community can really use successfully to create better outcomes for children.”

In New York State, Help Me Grow initiatives also exist in Western New York, the Finger Lakes and Onondaga County. More info on Help Me Grow can be found at

The ECA group discussed a planning year to include launching Help Me Grow, forum groups, listening sessions and focus groups. Plans to establish a parent advisory council, business advisory council and community advisory council are in the works.

“Investment in early childhood is a proven anti-poverty strategy that leads to the well-being of youth, parents and the community,” said Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. Education Services Director Janice Scott.

CiTi BOCES Instructional Support Services Staff Development Specialist Carri Waloven equated the ECA to a highway system of comprehensive care, getting all the lanes of the highway that currently exists to align and work together to increase impact and ensure children don’t fall through the cracks.

The mission of the Oswego County Early Childhood Alliance is to facilitate cross-sector engagement and collaboration to build upon and sustain a stable, comprehensive and effective early childhood system of care across Oswego County.

Community Relations Director Brittney Jerred from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay’s office said: “I am happy to be here today, listening to the ideas and ways so many people and organizations are hoping to help families and specifically small children in Oswego County. So much development happens in those early years and the more advantages and advocacy we can provide for our kids, the better and healthier our communities will be.”

The ECA’s executive committee is comprised of representatives from the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation, Oswego County Opportunities, Inc., Integrated Community Planning, Inc., the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, Oswego County Administration and NYS Office of Children and Family Services Regional Office.

Anyone with questions or an interest in being a part of the alliance can reach out to Brandy Koproski at [email protected].

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