As we reflect on 2018 and the great strides that have been made for infants and toddlers in Texas; we are inspired by the opportunities that 2019, The Year of Baby, is bringing. Our focus this year is to continue to create quality programming and opportunities for infants and toddlers in Texas while growing our impact and reinforcing research – based practices with an overall goal to sustain positive lifetime outcomes.
First Quarter Report
In the first quarter of the Year of Baby, our focus was to continue to create quality programming and opportunities for infants and toddlers in Texas. We are please to report the following milestones:
- Through our Professional Development program we created Online Educational Courses that will be available to our members in Q2. These courses will allow access to recorded webinars on-demand at a time convenient for their schedule. Additionally, Reflective Supervision groups have been implemented for participants in San Antonio and Houston. These groups were made possible by the support of the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio and the Herman H. Fleishman Foundation. Thanks to generous individual donors, we have been able to create a scholarship program for early childhood professionals through the “Fill the Think Tank” program. In the first quarter, 26 memberships were awarded, 18 participations for webinars and on-site trainings occurred, and 2 individuals began their process through Endorsement®.
- In Dallas County, the Safe Babies program has officially launched, and families are beginning to be served! Safe Babies seeks to lessen the long-term impact of neglect, increase the likelihood of reunification, and ensure policies that guide the movement of infants and toddlers in the child welfare system are developmentally informed.
- Baby Day 2019 brought together nearly 1,500 children and adults for a day filled with bonding and delight across 5 different cities.
- First3Years is partnering with 5 family-serving organizations in the Greater Houston Area to help their staff recognize and address the relational health between parents and very young children. The WECS (Welch Emotional Connection Screen) is a new brief observational tool for understanding relational health and informing providers’ response towards helping to strengthen the parent-child relationship as strategy for supporting children’s overall social emotional development. The WECS was developed by Columbia University’s Nurturing Science Program, and First3Years is the first partner to implement WECS within community settings. In 2019, First3Years will provide these partners with 1) training on early brain development, co-regulation and the role of nurturing relationships, 2) training on the use of the Welch Emotional Connection Screen (WECS) to understand the relational health between parents and children, and 3) technical assistance to tailor programming to better meet the needs of the family.