January 17, 2020
Press Release
Funding will expand All Kids Thrive, strengthen support services for children in need

(Rochester, N.Y.) – Today, Congressman Joe Morelle and local partners announced $1.5 million in funding has been awarded to the All Kids Thrive program to strengthen early childhood services. This funding is awarded over three years and made available through a $40 Million Preschool Development Birth Through Five grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families awarded to the New York State Council on Children and Families.

“Investing in our children means investing in the future of our community. That’s why it is so important that we ensure children have essential support services from a young age to allow them to grow and thrive,” said Rep. Joe Morelle. “I am proud to have helped secure this federal funding and am grateful that it will help strengthen the programs we already have in place to better serve our children, especially those in need.” 

Ann Marie White, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Children’s Institute, said: “Our community’s receipt of these resources helps children across the earliest years of life. Families supporting the growth of their children ages 1 to 5 years will have greater access to the information and connections needed to support their child’s complete well-being and growth. We are so pleased to be growing this community collaboration with families, child care providers, child development and health care providers so all can become better linked in the give-and-get of needed services identified in these first comprehensive screenings. This effort illustrates Children’s Institute’s lasting commitment to work together in building those connections with families that support every child across our community.”

Jeff Kaczorowski, MD, Vice Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center/Golisano Children’s Hospital and Senior Advisor at The Children’s Agenda, said: “As a pediatrician, I’ve seen too many young children fall through the cracks, with consequences that can last a lifetime.  No one program can fix that. But this work is different: we are laying the foundation for integrated work between health, education, and human services, in partnership with parents and families, for kids to succeed.  We are grateful to Congressman Morelle and to the Governor and NY State Council on Children and Families for their vision in making Rochester a centerpiece of this work.”

This grant will help bring together interdisciplinary partners, led by the Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Institute, to advance early childhood development services in Rochester. Specifically, funds will go toward expanding the GROW-Rochester program, which provides health, development, and behavior screening, from serving only 3-year-olds to serving children 12 months to 5-year-olds and integrating with pediatrics practices to better provide comprehensive support services.

It will also bolster efforts to screen for social determinants of health and adverse childhood experiences that can be prevalent in children living in poverty.

Earlier this week, following a report by the Children’s Agenda outlining the extent of the childcare crisis in Monroe County—where there are currently only three childcare slots for every ten children—Rep. Morelle reiterated his commitment to supporting the needs of families and children by fighting for universal childcare and announced his co-sponsorship of the Childcare for Working Families Act.

This legislation, combined with strengthened early childhood development services made possible through this grant award, would be instrumental in helping to Monroe County children and their families have the resources and support available to be successful.