On January 31, Franklin County Commissioners signed a resolution to prioritize and invest in prenatal-to-three efforts as part of a national initiative.
Franklin County Commissioners on January 31 approved a Call to Action to prioritize and invest in young children and families from prenatal to three as part of the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers.
Research shows that when we invest in the first three years of a child’s life the returns for the community are the highest, and we can reduce the need for more expensive interventions later .
The most rapid period of brain development occurs within the first years of life with the brain developing faster from birth to age three than at any later period in life, building the foundation for all future learning, behavior and health; and toddlers receive what their growing brains need, they become healthy children who are confident, empathetic and ready for school and life; and programs and policies that support healthy development from birth to age three result in better social, economic and health outcomes and build a more productive workforce that strengthens our economy now and in the future.
Parents are a child’s most important caregivers and play the lead role in their child’s healthy development; at the same time, communities and governments can be effectively provide families with an array of comprehensive support at an especially critical time.
Programs and policies should start early to ensure healthy beginnings at birth, support families with infants and toddlers and make high-quality child care and learning environments more accessible and affordable to all. High-quality child care is often unavailable or unaffordable for parents who need it, and many families are not connected to networks or early childhood supports that can offer guidance and confidence to navigate the earliest months and years of their children’s lives; and
The Franklin County takes pride in its responsibility to protect and enhance the health, welfare and safety of residents in cost-effective ways—especially for the 5,480 children under the age of 3 in our area.
Research shows that when we invest in the first three years of a child’s life the returns for the community are the highest, and we can reduce the need for more expensive interventions later. Research also shows that high-quality early childhood development programs can deliver an annual return of up to 13 percent per child on upfront costs through better outcomes in education, health, employment and social behavior in the decades that follow; and economists attribute local economic growth and prosperity to high-quality early child care programs.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) and other national organizations joined the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers (NCIT), a project of the Pritzker Children’s Initiative (PCI), in a groundbreaking partnership to work with communities and states across the country to focus on early childhood development for young children from birth to three. On January 31, Franklin County became one of the first counties in Pennsylvania to sign on to the Call to Action to prioritize and invest in prenatal-to-three efforts that promote a healthy start at birth, support for families with infants and toddlers and high-quality care and learning environments and utilize the resources available through NACo and the NCIT.