The New York Zero-To-Three Network is a community of individuals who are committed to strengthening the development of children birth to three and their families.
Participants in the Network include practitioners and researchers in diverse fields such as early education, special education, social work, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, child psychiatry, pediatrics, rehabilitation, child development, family counseling, child life, speech and language pathology, nutritionists and representatives from the legal, business and philanthropic community. We have come together because:
- We recognize that the formative years of life (birth to three) are a period of great growth, but also a period of extreme vulnerability for infants, toddlers and families.
- We recognize that there is a developing body of concepts and principles common to all disciplines involved with children and their families in the earliest years of life. We believe that this generic core complements the specific knowledge base contributed by each discipline.
- We recognize that every area of a child’s development influences every other. In order to meet the needs of the whole child and family, comprehensive services are required. For this reason, members of the individual disciplines can no longer work in isolation but need to pool their knowledge and skills.
- We are concerned about the deteriorating economic and social conditions of urban children and families and a system of service in the New York metropolitan area that is poorly coordinated, lacks comprehensiveness and is underfunded.
We believe that effective intervention with infants, toddlers and families is characterized by the following core concepts, attitudes and skills:
- An understanding that the unfolding of developmental processes occurs within the context of emerging attachments and maturing relationships.
- Respect for each infant’s unique mix of strengths and vulnerabilities.
- Recognition that human growth includes multiple, interrelated lines of development, including neurophysiological and sensorimotor growth, emotional and social development, the formation of cognitive structures and the development of coping and adaptive capacities.
- Ability to foster and support the relationships between child and family and among child, family and practitioner.
- Appreciation of the cultural diversity of families and an ability to respond to their traditional or unique composition.
- Awareness that childcare practitioners need ongoing training and collegial support.
In response to the needs we perceive and the beliefs about development and intervention we share, the New York Zero-To-Three Network proposes to undertake the following in the New York metropolitan area:
- Foster and disseminate a developing, clinically sensitive and state-of-the-art body of knowledge to zero to three practitioners, public and voluntary institutions, universities and professional organizations.
- Encourage training that integrates the perspectives of various disciplines to achieve a comprehensive approach to intervention.
- Provide a forum for the exchange of information emanating from infant and early childhood programs
- Foster networks across service delivery systems in order to improve effectiveness and quality.
- Diminish social and professional isolation by facilitating collegial support among members of different disciplines.
- Stimulate collaborative research.
- Promote public awareness about the needs of children and families and their policy implication.
Approved by the Board of Directors, New York Zero-to-Three Network, April 1991, revised February 1999