Officers of the Great Neck/Manhasset Community Child Care Partnership (l.-r.): Debbie Klein, vice-chair; Kitty Poons, chair; Winnie Fant, secretary; and Maxine Wolper, vice-chair kick off the annual membership drive.
According to the Children's Defense Fund, the need for childcare among low-income working families has reached crisis proportions. Sixteen million children under age 16 live in families that struggle to be self-sufficient. Only one in seven children eligible for federal childcare assistance currently receives it. This crisis exists not only nationally but also in our own communities of Great Neck and Manhasset.
Founded to address this issue at the local level, the Great Neck/Manhasset Community Child Care Partnership, Inc. acts as a network of organizations and individuals to advocate for childcare and to supply economically fragile families the services they need to nurture their children and to maintain their independence. Each December the Partnership asks its members to renew their commitment to quality childcare by financially supporting its annual membership campaign. Every individual and organization that knows the importance of early childhood education and who wishes to make a difference in this community is urged to join.
The mission of the Community Child Care Partnership is to raise awareness regarding childcare issues and work with all segments of the community to increase the availability and quality of childcare and family support services to address family needs.
Thanks to the past generosity of members and donors, Partnership activities this year have included:
* Sponsoring preschool showcases in Great Neck and Manhasset in partnership with the public libraries.
* Providing scholarships for needy families to access quality early childhood education.
* Publishing directories, brochures and newsletters on local childcare programs and on issues affecting quality childcare.
* Promoting training and adequate salaries for childcare providers.
* Raising community awareness of the need to invest in childcare programs.
Membership support also enables the Partnership to provide the Family Support Program, which aids needy families to promote the positive development of their children. The Family Support Program director, Arlene Schneider and Outreach assistant Sheila Bush connect families to the resources they need as well as conduct parent and grandparent educational support groups.
Recently a client of the Family Support Program wrote to thank the Partnership. She moved to Manhasset in March with her three children and faced a lonely, overwhelming job of getting settled. She wrote: "I did cry because I felt all alone; then there was Sheila Bush and Arlene Schneider to help me. I mean they were there for me and my children, took me to the schools, doctors, etc. Just to get the kids in school was a very big thing. I love going to the women's support group on Fridays. I don't feel so alone. I had to let it be known - thanks again." By supporting the Partnership, community residents can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable families like this one.
The motto of the Partnership is "Caring for our children is a community concern." Individuals and organizations can support the Great Neck/Manhasset Community Child Care Partnership, Inc. by sending checks to GN/MCCCP, Inc., 3 St. Paul's Place, Great Neck, NY 11021 or by calling the office at 504-0150 for membership envelopes. The cost for membership is $25 for individuals and $50 for organizations. All donations are appreciated.