DeStefano Launches Early Childhood Agenda at CCC. (Youth, Education, Families)

By Bosland, Julie; Millar, Kirsta | Nation's Cities Weekly, March 10, 2003 | Go to article overview

DeStefano Launches Early Childhood Agenda at CCC. (Youth, Education, Families)


Bosland, Julie, Millar, Kirsta, Nation's Cities Weekly


At the Congressional City Conference, NLC President John DeStefano Jr., mayor of New Haven, Conn., will ask member cities and state leagues to help make early childhood a priority in cities and towns across the country.

"The success of our youngest citizens has a fundamental impact on the vitality of America's local governments, now and into the future," DeStefano asserts. The conference marks the kick-off of a series of activities that will occur throughout 2003 to promote NLC's Campaign for Early Childhood Success.

City Challenge for Early Childhood Success

On Sunday, March 9, Mayor DeStefano was joined by actor/director Rob Reiner as he challenged local officials to take concrete steps to improve outcomes for young children. Municipal leaders who accept the "City Challenge for Early Childhood Success" will commit to creating a long-term early childhood plan for their city based on a local community needs assessments.

At this plenary session, Mayor DeStefano also commissioned a small group of city officials and state league directors who will serve as Early Childhood Champions over the coming year. These individuals have already taken significant steps to promote positive early childhood development at the local level and will be actively involved in NLC's Campaign for Early Childhood Success.

Opportunities for Cross-City Exchange

Two key opportunities for peer exchange will allow city leaders to learn from one another as they create local early childhood plans.

A free, hour-long audioconference, entitled "Planning for Early Childhood Success: Practical Steps for Cities & Towns," will take place on March 27 at 12:30 p.m. (EST). This session will highlight concrete ideas for conducting local assessments and designing or strengthening strategic action plans.

Municipal officials who participate in the City Challenge for Early Childhood Success will also have the opportunity to participate in a two-day national training and networking meeting in Washington, D.C., in June 2003. This session will include: expert advice on how to develop and implement successful early childhood plans; lessons from cities and towns that have already created early childhood plans; and networking sessions with similarly situated cities to facilitate peer learning.

Coordinated Community Meetings

Cities and towns across the country will be invited to host community meetings or similar local events during a designated week in the fall of 2003. …

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