Who We Are
The Infancy Leadership Circles are the communication pipeline for the infancy movement in New York State. We bring together professionals in local communities who work with infants and toddlers and their families to facilitate professional networking, development, and communication. We move local issues to the state level and take state issues to communities to advance better policies and comprehensive services for babies and their families. We represent a broad array of professionals from all fields who provide services to infants and toddlers and their families. We build on existing local and state efforts, strengthening the “infancy voice” within broader early childhood initiatives. Ours is a two-generation approach that considers the child in the context of the family and community.
Role of NYZTT
The New York Zero-to-Three Network (NYZTT) has more than two decades of experience in New York City as the only inter-disciplinary organization focused exclusively on infants and toddlers. NYZTT members are a diverse lot, including practitioners, business executives, lawyers, academics, and people in the arts.
Since NYZTT was inaugurated, the organization has fostered cross-disciplinary dialogue and sharing the rapidly expanding scientific discoveries that confirm the importance of the first three years of life. Networking, education, and public awareness campaigns, along with opportunities for Interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, have all been part of our work. Beginning with the first statewide Infancy Conference in 2004, NYZTT has had a statewide focus.
NYZTT created the Infancy Leadership Circles based on mounting evidence that experiences in the infant and toddler years are vitally important for so many aspects of healthy development and a productive life. Yet the needs of infants and toddlers are often missing from policy development and decision-making at all levels—local, state, and national. We seek to formalize a local and state movement around increasing investments in our youngest citizens. NYZTT’s multidisciplinary framework and organizational structure uniquely qualify us to provide resources and mentoring to Infancy Leadership Circles across the state.
Through cross-disciplinary dialogue and strategic communications, the New York State In-fancy Leadership Circles promote high-quality comprehensive services for infants, toddlers, and their families in New York State.
What We Do
- Discuss common issues and solutions
- Identify strengths and issues regarding their specific community
- Participate in an active discussion across the areas of healthy children, strong families, and early learning
- Set goals specific to each Circle based on consensus from the discussions
- Develop a plan of action for achieving goals
- Nurture natural existing leadership within the participating Circle to lead the Circle in the future
- Develop cross system partnerships between local leaders and new leaders to carry on the work of each Circle
- Connect to other systems-building initiatives
- Link with statewide coalitions and other regional and state initiatives that complement the local agenda and are concerned about early childhood development and comprehensive services
- Connect efforts to strengthen and promote services for infants and toddlers across the state and communicate shared challenges, opportunities, and resources
- Established 11 Infancy Leadership Circles covering 14 counties across the state and added 0-3 focus to two preexisting groups.
- Brought together professionals from many systems that serve infants, toddlers, and their families to discuss common issues, strengths and solutions in their specific community on a regular basis.
- Created ILC how-to guide and other resources.
- Four-county DOCS ILC created Recipes to Play booklet aimed at parents and family child care workers containing developmental milestones and relationship-building activities.
- DOC’s ILC, together with SUNY Cobleskill Early Childhood Department planned and hosted an infant-toddler conference with 190 participants.
- Niagara County ILC enhanced that county’s 211 referral directory for infant and toddler services.
- Erie County ILC created 12 core messages for parents as their child’s first teacher and a public service announcement.
- Westchester group tested a trauma screening tool in local early childhood programs.
- East Harlem group surveyed the community for infant mental health providers and got local Schools of Social Work to place more interns in the community. Cultural training is planned.
- ILC leaders helped plan and facilitate the annual Infant-Toddler Forum at the NYS AEYC conference.
- ILC leaders serve on many statewide bodies: Early Childhood Advisory Council, WinningBeginningNY, Home Visiting Coalition, Stronger Families NY Coalition, NYS Infant and Toddler Resource Network, NYS Parenting Education Partnership, UJA Federation Taskforce on People with Disabilities.
- Infant mental health grants were awarded to start new ILCs across the state.
Join or Start an Infancy Leadership Circle
Please join us in this work. Raising our voices together we can make a difference and build better futures for babies, their families, and communities.
- Contact the NYS Infancy Leadership Circle coordinators to start or join a circle in your community:
- Support the work of the Infancy Leadership Circles with a donation:
Send check made out to NYZTT with Infancy Leadership Circles in the memo or make a Paypal secure donation
- Become a member today!
- Individual membership is $60
- $40 for students
- Sign up your organization or sign up your Infancy Leadership Circle for the same low rate: $275 – all staff or ILC members receive a discount to NYZTT events, including the annual conference and an invitation to the annual meeting, as well as the NYZTT e-newsletter.