Reimagining early childhood in Brownsville, Brooklyn

Service Providers are United for Brownsville.

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“One of the first messages I heard from a Brownsville resident when I started work here is that people are sick and tired of outsiders coming in and offering this great service and that great service, because they’ve seen it all before.
— David from UB

Brownsville is full of city agencies and service providers who touch the lives of infants and toddlers: hospitals, daycare centers, home daycare providers, shelters, mental health counselors, physicians, and many more.

You are doing great work, but you report challenges in your relationships to each other and with the community.

Communication may break down between service providers in ways that do not help young children or providers themselves: an early intervention specialist who does not speak to a daycare provider even though she serves students at the daycare site, or a doctor who sends referrals to specialists without a clear way to coordinate or follow up between them.

Often the heavy work loads, structures, routines, and physical isolation of our work places keeps us focused on the work immediately at hand. This can limit our ability to collaborate and coordinate care with our colleagues across disciplines in ways that would benefit children.

At the same time, providers have often told us that they would love new opportunities to work in concert with families and other professionals. You have mentioned sharing information, forming tighter-knit referral networks, cross-discipline professional development, and other ideas that might bridge the gaps.

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United for Brownsville aims to help families, service providers, and advocates understand each other's concerns in order to work together more effectively and efficiently.


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The Provider Action Team (PAT)

We are recruiting PAT members to represent Brownsville's community-based organizations, health providers, local businesses, parent groups, public libraries, teachers’ unions, faith-based groups, civic associations, and childcare providers.

We welcome any professional who works with infants and toddlers from the neighborhood and has an interest in leading efforts to change relationships and improve outcomes for young children. 

If you know you would like to apply to be on the PAT, please fill out our agreement online.

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...

  • Make accusations or tell you what is wrong with how you do your job and how to fix it

  • Ask for commitment to change without following up with the resources you suggest are necessary for that change
  • Participation entails the following commitments...

  • Meet regularly - roughly once per month for 2 hours

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

  • Be open to changing your own organization’s procedures, policies, and activities in response to needs identified by you and your colleagues in the PAT

  • Be open to information and data-sharing with other PAT members that will lead to improved decision-making and better coordination of services among PAT members
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