We are parents, foster parents, family members, and advocates for the 3,500 children aged three and under in our Brooklyn neighborhood. We are daycare providers, psychologists, speech therapists, shelter staff, and pediatricians.

We are also UB’s backbone staff, who have backgrounds in social services, community engagement, education, and management. We’re good at getting people together and trying to make important services work better for them.

We are united to change relationships between and among our groups so that infants and toddlers in Brownsville develop the language and social-emotional skills that will ensure success in life.

UB creates space for neighborhood collaboration

Brownsville is a neighborhood with a long history of activism in response to systemic racism and inequity, particularly when it comes to education. We believe that parents and service providers are experts in their fields who bring unique strengths and experiences to their parenting and professional lives. UB is a collective impact and participatory-planning initiative* that builds upon the work that is already being done by families, educators, social-service providers and health-care providers. Collectively, they know the best ways to overcome obstacles they face and our goal is to empower them to continue improving outcomes for infants and toddlers in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Through collaboration, we can strengthen services, networks, & outcomes for children

We’re improving outcomes for 0-3 year olds in Brownsville by helping families and service providers work better together.  This will make the most of resources that already exist and ensure that no child falls through the gaps. Most importantly, by empowering leaders who are already live in the neighborhood, we are creating a sustainable system for change.

We focus on key areas of early childhood development

Our specific focus is on social-emotional and language development. Language development includes learning to speak and understand language. Social-emotional development includes learning to form relationships and regulate one’s own behavior. Many who study child development think that these two areas are the keys to a child’s ability to do well in school and a career. The earlier that we can support a child’s development and intervene to address delays, the more prepared that child will be for a successful and productive life.

Parents and caregivers are the experts on how we should set and achieve our goals

The parents and service providers who make up our leadership have identified the negative effects of not placing families first. Parents are often told that what they are doing is wrong rather than being celebrated for their strengths. Families are rarely asked about the challenges they face and how they could be better supported by the community. The providers working with UB know that improving outcomes for children requires making space for families at the planning and decision-making tables.

*UB is a sponsored project of the Brownsville Partnership, Inc. We were founded in 2018 as a collaboration between SCO Family of Services and Community Solutions with funding from Robin Hood Fund for Early Learning (FUEL).