The Children, Youth & Families Program seeks to ensure that children and adolescents are fully prepared to succeed in school and in life. Its goals are to promote:
Children as learners: Birth through 8. The program supports efforts to improve the education and development of young children in Pennsylvania, emphasizing the creation of a coherent, high-quality learning continuum for children in this age group.
- Improve the quality of child care and early education.
- Continue supporting the statewide system that focuses on addressing the needs of children in the "birth-to-3" age group.
- Strengthen professional development and early childhood leadership development for teachers, caregivers, families and school administrators.
- Increase collaborations between pre-kindergarten programs and primary grades.
- Develop financing mechanisms to expand quality early childhood care and pre-kindergarten programs.
- Support advocacy and public awareness to raise the profile of early learning issues.
Adolescents as citizens. The program seeks to increase meaningful learning opportunities and positive youth development for school-age children during non-school hours.
- Strengthen statewide efforts to ensure access, quality, accountability and sustainability of out-of-school-time programs.
- Support efforts to strengthen the local youth development programs, with four areas of priority:
- Support strong school-community partnerships in providing out-of-school-time programs for Pittsburgh Public Schools students.
- Develop a local system that will create a policy and advocacy agenda on behalf of programs serving youth.
- Provide limited support to programs that offer safe and engaging places for at-risk youth in high-need areas, with attention to ensuring their sustainability.
- Support the Endowments’ Summer Youth Philanthropy Internship Program as an exemplary model of youth employment and leadership development.
Parents as teachers. The program promotes parental responsibility and the active involvement of parents and caregivers in the education of their children.
- Support parent leadership and advocacy, especially within health care systems and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
- Continue to invest in family support networks and other high-quality parenting programs.
- Integrate financial literacy education into job-readiness, welfare-to-work and family-support/parent-education programs.
The issues of child and family health are key to achieving all three of the CY&F Program goals. The strategies include:
- Increasing the number of environmentally healthy child care settings.
- Focusing on child health by supporting efforts to build a model maternal & child health care system in the Pittsburgh Region through policy and practice improvements.
- Developing health care models that connect hospitals and the community in addressing the health and wellness needs of adolescent mothers, their children and other high-risk families.
- Supporting innovative collaboratives that address children’s environmental health issues by educating families about the impact of the environment on human health and personal actions they can take; advocating for policy change; and acting on the connections between social, environmental and economic conditions and health outcomes.