UNION COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Community Coordinated Child Care Lead Agency
2 City Hall Plaza, Rahway, NJ 07065
973-923-1433 ext 141
973-923-1433 ext 131
Forms and Documents
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
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.
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)
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.
Union County Council Subcommittees
Health subcommittee: This group provides inputs in health relate issues and services in the community that impact:
Health/ pregnancy/ birth; infant/ child health and development including dental care.
Children with special childcare needs
Parent/ caregiver health- access to health insurance, routine medical care, dental. And access to related health services when needed- such as, smoking cessation, mental health, substance abuse treatment and more.
UCCYC works with many partners and central intake to provide our families with information on health relate services.
Community Resource Subcommittee: This group helps to identify available resources and services in the community to identify locations, access and gaps in services and helps to recommend improvement, as needed.
Gaps might include transportation, language, and cultural barriers, etc.
Parents and community stakeholders working on the Handbook.
UCCCY has work in collaboration with Tri State Campaign to advocate for a better and reliable transportation in Elizabeth NJ.
Transportation meeting with riders
Education Subcommittee: This group discusses issues and concerns regarding:
Quality early care and education programs which may include—Child Care Centers, Family Child Care, Early Head Start/Head Start, Preschool, and Elementary School
Transitions for children and their families within early care and education settings—for example, from childcare to preschool or from Early Head Start/Head Start/Preschool to Kindergarten.
Children with special educational needs
Educational needs of parents and caregivers, for example GED programs, vocational training, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, Community College, or other education opportunities
This group also examines opportunities in the community for children and families to have access to art, dance, music, and sport activities that are affordable.
Mission statement (created by children) is clearly communicated in Kaitlyn’s poster. Thank you 😊. Kaitlyn 8 years old
UCCYC also work with Well Care to provided health related information such as adult and pediatric dental health care Stress Management workshop to our families.
Bus Rider Bill of Rights- Virtual Press Conference- October , 2020
The wish of CCYC and Children’s Café to exist in the whole word was one of Aaliyah’s representation in this artwork. Aaliyah 6 years old. Thank you 😊
Children’s Café was created in 2015, during our first UCCYC council meeting. However, during the pandemic, many parents express their concern of their children lack social interaction. In April 2020 UCCYC started to host the first Virtual children’s Café where children could embrace social connection, bring awareness to our parents about the importance of social and emotional wellbeing and eventually create future leaders.
“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”
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 organization
“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.
"Implement the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework to engage parents and community stakeholders to see families through a different lens that focuses 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.
"Promote active cooperation and participation of parents as a voice for change at the family, community and state level"
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.
UCCYC Photo Gallery
UCCYC during the Pandemic
Volunteer Mothers from Scotch Plains have donated books, diapers and baby items to families in Plainfield who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19
UCCYC in collaboration with Community Coordinated Child Care donated books and toys to children and families during this difficult time
UCCYC also received the support from Freeholder Sergio Granados and CCCC and distributed additional diapers, census information and baby food products to more families in Plainfield.
Distribution day – Parent in Plainfield
Keeping Social Distance
Parents also received gift card from being ambassadors for the Census in Plainfield
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.