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Governor Dean Announces Plan For National "Welcome Baby" Visits

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 04:04 PM
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Governor Dean Announces Plan For National "Welcome Baby" Visits
Proposal first step in comprehensive "Success by Six" initiative

CONCORD, NH--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D. announced today that as President he would create a national "Success by Six" initiative designed to ensure that children start school ready to succeed by providing all families with young children early access to health care, education, and other support critical to children's health and working families.

Governor Dean made today's announcement of his plan for "Welcome Baby" visits-the first of several policy proposals making up the national "Success by Six" initiative-here at the Child and Family Development Center of the New Hampshire Technical Institute. National Welcome Baby visits build on the successful model Governor Dean implemented in Vermont where nearly every new parent has the option of a visit in the hospital and in their home.

Community-based partnerships provide this service to connect families and their children to the resources and services available to help them raise healthy, successful children. Because of the community-driven nature of the program and the individualized needs of new parents, the exact make-up of a "Welcome Baby Visit" varies in each town and city, but they can include providing nutrition information, helping parents connect with local medical care, or even something as simple as explaining how to get a library card.

Soon, Governor Dean will announce the rest of his comprehensive plan for a significant new investment in early child care and education that will be available to states and localities that make a commitment to join the Success by Six initiative.

"One of the greatest things a community can provide to new parents is simply the knowledge that they are supported and that help is available whenever it is needed," Governor Dean said. "We know that investment in young children yields a high return, and we must provide resources to parents from the day of their child's arrival because education begins at birth."

As president, Dean said he would invest $200 million a year in this new initiative to expand Welcome Baby Visits to interested new parents in communities across the country, while strengthening and growing existing programs.

Local partnerships of nonprofits, local government, health providers, and others will be able to apply for funding to support Success by Six activities that incorporate Welcome Baby Visits. Qualifying partnerships will commit local funding and in-kind contributions to support the initiative. States can also provide additional resources as part of a state plan to develop or expand the Welcome Baby Initiative.

The national proposal announced today builds on the highly successful model that Governor Dean launched in Vermont in 1992 and on the nationwide initiative sponsored by the United Way. In 350 communities across the country, the United Way leads public and private partnerships that implement local Success by Six plans on behalf of young children.

The Vermont Success by Six program, of which "Welcome Baby" is but one part, is part of a comprehensive investment in young children that resulted in 89% of pregnant women entering prenatal care during their first trimester of pregnancy, 96% of Vermont's children having health care coverage, 81.1% of children being fully immunized by age 2 and 97% by the time they start kindergarten, and a 45% reduction in child and sexual abuse.
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LuminousX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 04:12 PM
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1. Lower Child Abuse
leads to lowered crime rates.

Essentially the more children we protect against abuse, the fewer criminals we will have in the future.

This program has many, many benefits. I hope that even if Dean doesn't get elected whoever does takes a seriour look at this program and initiates it on a national level.
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