Reimagining early childhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn

Families are United for Brownsville.

“I always wondered if we should see a specialist [for my son] and his father always said no, there’s nothing wrong with him. When he started going to school he was diagnosed with a speech impediment and learning disabilities.
— Brownsville parent

What we've heard from speaking with parents and guardians in Brownsville

Parents and guardians are asked to bear the burden of coordinating complex care for their children on top of all the other responsibilities and pressures they have. Moreover, family members often feel disempowered in their relationships with professionals.

  • Parents and guardians feel that doctors or specialized providers don’t treat them as people and don’t know them or their children.

  • Appointments may be hard to get to or at inconvenient times, and providers do not always communicate clearly about the requirements or purposes of appointments.

  • Parents are responsible for sharing information between service providers because providers are not set up to do this themselves.

  • Providers may use lots of technical terms parents and guardians don’t know and not leave space for the parents to ask questions.

Issues like these break down the relationships between parents and providers

  • Parents don't feel supported by the system.
  • Parents are unable to secure the right services at the right time for their children.
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United for Brownsville aims to help families, care providers, and advocates understand each other's concerns in order to work together more effectively and efficiently.


WANTED: Local Residents to Lead the Family Advisory Board (FAB)

United for Brownsville is looking for parents, family members, and caregivers in Brownsville, Brooklyn, to join our Family Advisory Board.

FAB members will help us achieve our goal of improving education and services for infants and toddlers in the community. This is an opportunity to have people from Brownsville change the way early childhood services work in their neighborhood.

UB will...

  • Respect you as local experts, ask your opinion, and take your ideas seriously

  • Provide a budget to help put your ideas into action

  • Organize a parallel group of service providers (for example: pediatricians, childcare providers, home visiting programs, etc.) to work alongside you to improve the early childhood landscape in Brownsville

  • Facilitate communication and coordination between these groups so that we can meet our goals
  • UB will not...

  • Tell you what is wrong with your parenting and how to fix it

  • Tell you what is wrong with Brownsville and how to fix it
  • Job duties for this paid, part-time position include...

  • Meet regularly with the FAB - roughly once per month for 2 hours, $50 stipend (or alternative compensation available)

  • Identify challenges to educating and getting services for 0-3-year-olds

  • Think creatively and share ideas for activities that will help address those challenges

  • Collaborate with the related service providers’ group to find solutions to common challenges

  • Interested Brownsville residents should contact Co-Directors David Harrington and Kassa Belay at to discuss further.