Birth to Five
DCI’s Birth to Five efforts focus on addressing the challenges and systemic barriers Allegheny County’s families have in accessing quality child care and early learning services for their youngest children. Early learning services can include child care, Head Start/Early Head Start, early literacy programming, as well as general resources and support. DCI partners with county departments, community-based organizations, program providers, families, and other community partners to identify and address barriers to access, with a particular focus on unserved and underserved communities.
Within the Birth to Five sector, DCI supports children, families, and programs through piloting opportunities to increase equitable access to child care and early learning opportunities, increasing the capacity of birth to five programs, like child care, for young children and families, and striving for equitable systems change. DCI collaborates with early childhood professionals, families, schools, and community partners to ensure all children and families have access to the resources and programming needed to reach their fullest potential.
Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships Expansion
This program maintains and expands the existing federal Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP) programming to serve additional children and communities. The funded expansion of classrooms for children 0 to 36 months of age creates dedicated Early Head Start classrooms located in child care programs for those children impacted by Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and/or Substance Use Disorder (SUD). This program is contracted through The Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center (COTRAIC), the sole federal Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grantee authorized to operate in Allegheny County.
Child Care Indoor Air Quality Improvement Pilot
This program, in partnership with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), serves to improve the indoor air quality of regulated child care programs located in environmental justice communities as identified by the ACHD’s Environmental Justice Index. The pilot’s goals are to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV2), and other common respiratory infections, as well as reducing the number of upper respiratory infections in young children. Through this, Allegheny County seeks to understand if these reductions can decrease the frequency and severity of asthma flares in children as well as improving children’s program attendance rates. The first cohort of this pilot began in Fall 2023 and additional opportunities to apply will be announced through DCI mailing list communications.
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