First3Years Staff Interviewed on Better Living Radio Show

First3Years Staff Interviewed on Better Living Radio Show


First3Years Executive Director Sadie Funk and Director of Programs Talia Brinkman

Recently, First3Years Executive Director Sadie Funk and Director of Programs Talia Brinkman were invited onto CBS Radio’s Better Living, a public affairs show hosted by Nick Carissimi.

Better Living highlights the people and organizations that are making an impact, and First3Years was honored to have more than 45 minutes of airtime to share the mission and goals of First3Years and how we’re filling a key community need.

In her segment, Sadie talked about the critical importance of the first three years and how it affects core brain development. She then discussed state licensing hours for early years caregivers, First3Years’ history of providing professional development, and our current programs.

Sadie also broke Nick’s assumption that “teachers already know what they are getting into,” and that caregivers who work with children automatically understand the development of children.

“Just because you love working with children doesn’t mean that you understand how children develop,” Sadie explained. “What’s needed are: first, a core understanding of competencies necessary to work with young children and their families, and second, a sense of support and a sense of mentorship, both of which First3Years is able to offer.”

Sadie also shared how First3Years engages with volunteers to plan and lead trainings, help advise on the needs and supports they see for themselves and other early care professionals, organize big events, and other pro bono services like legal counsel and marketing. “What’s most important in a volunteer is really a charge to make a difference for infants and toddlers, and a willingness to put their skillsets forward for that cause.”

In her segment, Talia expanded on the critical importance of the Infant Mental Health Endorsement Credential (IMH-E®).

“[IMH-E®] Endorsement raises the level of recognition.. It takes a lot of skills and a lot of training and a lot of specialization to be able to work with infants and toddlers every day,” said Talia. “So I’m really proud that at First3Years, we have a system that recognizes people that have these strengths. The more people are credentialed with the Infant Mental Health Endorsement, the more organizations can use this as a hiring factor, to know that somebody has the skillsets to work with young children.”

Listen to Sadie’s interview and Talia’s interview, or visit the Better Living show website, and let us know what you think. If you like what you hear, please share it with others! Help us deepen and grow the movement to advance healthy development for infants and toddlers in Texas.