Union County Council for Young Children
2 City Hall Plaza
Rahway, New Jersey 07065

Jessica Olivera
Program Coordinator
973-923-1433 ext 141
jolivera@uccyc.org

Kim Wilson
Program Specialist
973-923-1433 ext 131
kwilson@uccyc.org

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County Councils for Young Children

 

New Jersey has established in all 21 counties - County Councils for Young Children (CCYC) to strengthen collaboration between parents, families, and local community stakeholders with health, early care and education, family support, and other service providers. This shared leadership philosophy includes parents as active partners with service providers and community leaders helping to identify the needs, aspirations and successes of our collective efforts to positively impact the health, education and well-being of children from pregnancy/birth to age 8. Funding was made available to establish a statewide network of local County Councils for Young Children (CCYC) by the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant. Community Coordinated Child Care was awarded “County Council for Young Children” in October 2014.

 

Union County Council for Young Children (UCCYC)

 

PURPOSE

 

The purpose of the UCCYC is to create an environment where parents/families can come together at the local level with providers and other county community members as active and equal partners to identify/ discuss the needs, concerns, aspirations and successes regarding issues that affect the health, education and well-being of their children. 

  • Learn about and provide input in the development of community services from pregnancy, birth and early childhood to school entry to 3rd grade.
  • Ensure that the state and local policies and practices recognize the strengths as well as meet the needs of the families in Union county.
  • Ensure that the children in Union County are ready to enter school and be successful learners throughout their education.
  • Encourage parents and other community members and interested people to promote Grow NJ Kids, the most current rating scale for early childhood programs.

GOALS

  • The goal for the Union County Council for Young Children (UCCYC) is to empower families to advocate for themselves and their children and to find ways to assist parents with additional services in the community.
  • Create an environment where parents can become independent seekers of their own solutions.
  • To have a council comprised of 51% of parents as active members and 49% of active community members.
  • To reach out to parents through: Surveys, mail, focus groups, meetings, events and social media.
  • Offer parents: Personal growth, support, trainings, workshops, incentives. (i.e.; gift cards, incentives)

VISION

  • Union County Council for Young Children’s vision is to provide parents and Community members an environment where they become independent seekers of their own solutions by using their voice for effective change, available resources, training, and mentoring others. Our focus is to address community issues and empower families to advocate for themselves and their children. In order to do this, we recruit subcommittees, organize meetings, workshops, and events; including collaborations with other agencies and organizations. We have great parent leaders who have learned to advocate for themselves and their children, as well as take lead in chairing our meetings and events.

    “To build strong partnerships with local constituents– parents/families, providers and other community stakeholders–

    to improve health, education, safety and well-being of children, families, communities”

     

 
GENERAL MEETING LOCAL MEETING
   

COLLABORATIONS

  • UCCYC collaborates with other agencies, organizations, and stakeholders to enhance the connections for parents and provide even more information and resources. We have collaborated with Family Success Center, Prevention Links, Department of Early Childhood, Make the Road NJ and UTCAO. Not only do we do collaborations but we also have events where different organizations can host tables and we encourage them as stakeholders to provide updates during meetings. We also provide resources to our families from other organizations,

Collaboration with Prevention Links for our Empowering Family Wellness Seminar

 

“Recognize, support, and encourage parents as decision makers and leaders, and create an engaging,

respectful environment that welcomes their presence and input.”

 

 

 

UCCYC Parents are not only attending and participating in meetings, but instead many of them are in a leadership role chairing and running the meetings as well as taking charge of other responsibilities like registration and hosting UCCYC tables at community events. Charlene Green in the photo to the left and Elisha Vega in the photo to the right are parent leaders whom often take on these responsibilities.

 

Community Coordinated Child Care Lead Agency
www.ccccunion.org

 

“Promote active cooperation and participation of parents as a voice for change at the family, community, and state level”

 

ONGOING PROJECTS

  • Community Resource Project– A Handbook was created to provide families with an easy access to view the Board of Social Service’s requirements and therefore be better prepared when reporting to the office. It has been a journey of CCYC working together with families and stakeholders of the community to ensure that this handbook will be as helpful as possible and we take all of the necessary actions to get into the Social Services offices. We are now in the process of finalizing the creation of the parent handbook which will assist individuals at the board of social services. It has already been approved by CCCC lawyers and the DSS staff.

 
 
 

Elizabeth Bayway Transportation Project- Members of the community that reside in that area shared their concerns with us about the 58 bus not running late hours during the week and not running at all on Sundays. When we were made aware of this issue, CCYC including parents and stakeholders came together to take action for change. We began collecting surveys in the Bayway area. From the surveys collected, this issue was identified as a huge limitation for these families, especially considering many do not have a car of their own or the financial means to take other types of transportation. CCYC worked diligently together to produce a petition for the community to sign, prepared a letter for NJ Transit, and are planning a meeting with the community at large to address the issue and find a possible resolution.

 

“Implement the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework to engage parents and community stakeholders to see families through

a different lens that focus on what’s strong and not what’s wrong”

 

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES INITIATIVE

  • UCCYC and SFI work together to promote strong connections between families and local community agencies. We provide the Protective Factors Framework to members of the community in order to help support and strengthen their families. To the right was the turn out for our “Bringing the Protective Factors to Life” Workshop.

     

 
 

Please join us and be the voice for your children, family, neighborhood, community, and county. You can become an independent seeker of your own solutions! 

For more information on the Union County Council for Young Children (UCCYC), you can visit  www.ccccunion.org or contact the Program Coordinator Jessica Olivera at (973)923-1433 ext. 141 or at jolivera@uccyc.org

CCCC website design and photography by Kathy Cacicedo copyright 2011 www..excellentgoodieshop.com
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