Jackie Jones (in absentia) and Carole Oshinsky received an award at the Infant-Toddler Conference in January for their work as the initial co-diectors of the Infancy Leadership Circles (ILC) Project of New York Zero-to-Three Network and Evelyn Efinger was recognized for her work as the first New York State Infant Toddler Coordinator. The awards were presented by Susan Perkins, Policy Analyst at the Council on Children and Families and a co-organizer of the conference.
In her remarks Susan said, “Carole and Jackie have been co-chairs working together to make this vision come to life. From fledgling groups in 2010, this network has grown to over 13 groups across New York State.The goal of the ILC Project is to advance comprehensive services for babies and their families. ILC does this by convening professionals from all disciplines and creating a dialogue that helps to uncover gaps between services and develop creative solutions.”
Susan described how the Circles work at the community level, but NYZTT amplifies these local successes by connecting the circles in bimonthly phone calls and statewide meetings, and publicizing the results through electronic media to drive public advocacy at the state level. She explained how additional support and oversight for the ILC Project is provided by state-level partners in child development and public policy. “These partners form a steering committee,” she said, “that plays several important roles: strategic planning/funding, overall management of the project, writing and review of reports, connecting ILC activities with other state and community level initiatives, and reviewing quarterly progress of ILCs.” Carole accepted the reward on behalf of her and Jackie at the conference.
Evelyn Efinger was praised not only for her leadership of the NYS Infant-Toddler Network, but also for all the infancy events she has initiated and coordinated across the state.
“We give special recognition to Evelyn Efinger,” (pictured right) said Susan, “for her extraordinary leadership in bringing attention to the special developmental needs of infants, and for support across disciplines provided to infants, toddlers and their families.” She described how, following years of service in Head Start and its technical assistance system, Evelyn began her tenure in New York at the turn of the century as the program coordinator of the Infant-Toddler Project (at the Early Care and Learning Council). Evelyn also organized the first Statewide Infant and Toddler conference in 2004. In November, 2014, Evelyn joined ZERO TO THREE’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships technical assistance resource center.
In addition to commemorative plaques, both Carole and Evelyn received baby bibs with the slogan “Better Investment in Babies” BIB Award and “You’re So Cute.”