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NCCP Examines the Role of Community Development Corporations

3/14/2002:   Over the past decade there has been increased attention to improving outcomes for young children and helping families better meet the dual challenges of providing nurturing parenting and economic support for their children. For the most part, however, activity to promote healthy child development and provide support to families with young children has not been linked with efforts to promote family economic security in low-income communities. At the same time, initiatives to promote community building and address economic issues in low-income communities have typically not explicitly addressed the developmental and family support needs of young children and families.

Recognizing this, the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) decided to undertake an exploratory project to see what community-based organizations in low-income communities and neighborhoods are doing to promote the healthy development of low-income young children and families through child development and family support strategies. NCCP focused on three questions:
  • In what ways are community-based organizations in low-income communities and
    neighborhoods promoting the well-being of low-income families with children?
  • What are the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing community
    development corporations (CDCs) seeking to play a more active role in
    promoting the well-being of young children and their families?
  • What more can be done to strengthen CDCs’ role in promoting the well-being of the next
    generation?

The National Center for Children in Poverty investigates these questions and more in a new report entitled, “The Role of Community Development Corporations in Promoting the Well-Being of Young Children
The authors look at CDC sites in the following cities: Chicago, IL; Tulsa, OK; Oakland, CA; Bronx, NY; and Portland, OR.

The authors - Jane Knitzer, Ed.D., Deputy Director of NCCP, and Fida Adely, lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, - find CDCs have the potential to play a stronger role in promoting better outcomes for young children and their families if they had access to better resources and technical assistance.

Many CDCs implement child development and family support programs, and assist child care providers and families. However, broader efforts to improve conditions and outcomes for young children and families are essential if CDCs are to realize their full and powerful potential.

The report, “The Role of Community Development Corporations in Promoting the Well-Being of Young Children” may be downloaded from the NCCP Web site at http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/nccp/roleCDC.html .




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