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Priority Area: Community Health and Family Supports

Community health and family support systems form the bedrock of a thriving Central New York, ensuring that every resident can partake in burgeoning economic opportunities. Notably, the care of children and adult family members emerges as a significant barrier to employment, with a pronounced impact on women’s workforce participation. Concerns around the affordability and availability of care, coupled with the necessity for culturally competent healthcare services, underline the pressing need for enhanced healthcare accessibility and family supports. This encompasses a comprehensive spectrum of services, from mental health supports to child and dependent care, aiming to uplift the overall well-being and economic resilience of families across the region.

The urgency to fortify health and family support structures gains further momentum against the backdrop of Micron’s monumental investment, expected to catalyze substantial employment growth. 

Moreover, the acute shortage of licensed child care identified by the Early Childcare Alliance, particularly for infants and toddlers, underscores a critical gap; with costs surpassing recommended affordability thresholds, many families face significant financial strain. As Central New York’s residents continue to age, the expanding caregiving responsibilities for working adults further accentuate the need for strategic, inclusive investments in health and family support systems, setting a foundation for sustainable economic and social growth.

Priorities and Strategies

Immediate Priority: Strengthen child care and family supports initiatives

  • Child Care Start-Ups: Drive the creation of new child care start-ups with resources to support licensing, training, and business planning.

  • Home-Based Child Care Support: Promote and support home-based child care options, providing more personalized and accessible care for children in a home setting.

  • Child Care Facility Improvements and Expansion: Improve on and expand child care facilities to meet growing demand, ensuring sufficient safety, capacity, and convenience for parents.

  • Child Care Workforce Support and Expansion: Implement and support programs that improve wages and job quality, and provide professional development opportunities for child care workers.

  • Cultural Competency Training for Child Care Providers: Offer trainings for child care providers to enhance their understanding of and ability to cater to diverse cultural backgrounds, fostering an inclusive and understanding care environment.

  • Enhanced Assistance for Child Care Services: Expand financial assistance programs to make child care more affordable for low-income families, alleviating the financial burden on parents and guardians. 

  • Public Awareness Campaign for Child Care Options: Support campaigns to raise public awareness about the various child care options and funding options available, assisting families in making informed decisions about their child care needs.

  • Improved Systems for Mental and Physical Health in Child Care: Strengthen the integration of mental and physical health support systems within child care settings, ensuring a holistic approach to the well-being of children under care.

  • Expanded Special Needs Support: Expand services and resources for children and adults with special needs, ensuring tailored care and support for this critical segment of our community.

  • Dependent Care Support: Provide resources and programs to support the care of dependents, including the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and those with chronic illnesses, addressing the broader spectrum of caregiving needs in the community.

Strategies

Additional Priority: Enhance community health and healthcare

  • Expanded Healthcare Facilities: Emphasize building or enhancing medical facilities in regions lacking adequate healthcare services, particularly in socially and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and rural areas.

  • Food Access Enhancement: Focus on improving food access by increasing the number and distribution of grocery stores as well as the availability of affordable and culturally preferred foods in communities while reducing the travel distance needed to access food.

  • Expanded Telehealth: Expand telehealth services to increase access to medical care, especially in remote or socially and economically disadvantaged areas, enhancing healthcare delivery efficiency.

  • Mental Health Support Programs: Strengthen mental health support through community programs, counseling services, and awareness initiatives to improve overall mental well-being.

  • Trauma-Informed Community Network: Develop a network of healthcare services sensitive to trauma-related issues, ensuring comprehensive care that addresses physical and mental health needs.

  • Healthcare Awareness Campaigns: Launch campaigns to increase public awareness about health issues, preventive care, and available healthcare services.

Strategies

Explore Other Priority Areas

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