Nurturing Communities


Nurturing Communities is an innovative childcare model that is designed to enable two generations of low-income families to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The model maximizes the opportunity for young children to form a secure attachment to their mothers during the first three years of life while supporting the mother while she furthers her education. Children who take part in the program will develop the social/emotional foundation for academic achievement.

Program Description

This program is a partnership between Rochester Childfirst Network (RCN) and Community Partners interested in breaking the cycle of poverty, and transitioning individuals to self-sufficiency.  This program also encourages the development of both life and parenting skills, allowing opportunities for young moms to learn effective ways to respond to and interact with their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

  • RCN will operate a satellite childcare program housed on the first floor of the Sibley building.
  • Hours of operation will be 6:30 am to 5:30 pm, five days a week, year round.
  • Low-income mothers who are interested in child care & early learning as a career will be eligible to gain experience through the Work Experience Program (WEP). Participation ensures support through Monroe County Department of Human Services, which includes subsidized childcare.
  • The WEP program requires mothers to have an approved work experience equal to 30 hours per week.
  • RCN and the participant, in partnership with community partners, will determine the level of educational experience the candidate is interested in pursuing, and assist in making connections through one-on-one case management (CDA, MCC).
  • RCN will provide CDA instruction and adult learning support.
  • Participating mothers will work year-round with their own children as well as other children in the program.
  • Mothers working with their own and other children count as part of the State-mandated caregiver-to-child ratio. Adult-child ratios will be 2:1.

Program Goals

    • Support secure child attachment to the mother.
    • Support the mothers as they complete work to further their education through Child Development Associate (CDA) work, MCC, or other educational program.
    • Provide a literacy rich learning environment with guidance for parents and caregivers in developmentally appropriate practice.
    • Provide each participant with the vocational skill and experience to obtain work within the early care and education field¬†.
    • Replicate the model


The Nurturing Communities program will be offered at RCN’s Center City location, but work experiences could be based at the South Wedge location as well.