Rochester’s Child

Through fundraising, making grants, and partnering with experts in the field, Rochester’s Child promotes the very best early care and education for Monroe County’s most vulnerable children.

Since 1990, Rochester’s Child has forged public-private partnerships and driven changes in policy and practice to improve early childhood and development for children birth to age 8. A group of dedicated business representatives, community leaders, and passionate philanthropists has raised more than $4.8 million and awarded 450 grants for quality improvements so that children can have a healthy start in school and in life. Today, 2800 City of Rochester students attend high-quality pre-kindergarten programs.

Watch the video “30 years Advocating for Early Childhood,” featuring the late Jacque Cady.

Early Childhood Development Matters 

Rochester’s Child fundraises and advocates for high-quality early care and education because science and economics point to the importance of quality care. Neurological research shows that brain development occurs rapidly beginning at birth and continues through age 3. The learning and skills a child develops through age 8 are the foundation for their success throughout their education. High quality early childhood programs can change the trajectory of a child’s life, especially for children challenged by poverty. Research shows that investments in high quality early childhood education saves in later costs for grade retention, special education, and teen pregnancy services. Finally, one of the most important predictors of success for at-risk children entering school is having attended quality early education programs.

Leading Improvements in Early Care and Education

Rochester’s Child has a legacy of working with community partners, government officials, and early educators to develop policies and practices that result in better outcomes for Rochester’s most vulnerable children.

The highly visible “Sing, Talk, Play” ad campaign encouraged parents to actively stimulate their baby’s brain development, resulting in a significant number of parents who changed their behavior and sought additional help with their parenting. Rochester’s Child provided significant leadership in the development of the campaign and raised $200,000 for the effort. Our partners included 292-BABY at Monroe Community College, Causewave Community Partners (formerly the Ad Council), and the Early Childhood Development Initiative. 

Watch the video Our Community’s Early Childhood Development Initiative.

Abrupt funding cuts for child care subsidies in 2008 prompted a swift response by Rochester’s Child and the early childhood community. Fundraising that yielded $200,000 for the creation of a scholarship fund returned approximately 50 children to their high-quality childcare programs for one year. The heightened awareness and private support garnered by Rochester’s Child helped community advocates to restore $8.3 million in March of 2009.

What We Support

In the past five years alone, Rochester’s Child has raised funds and awarded nearly $1,000,000 for improvements in child-care centers, family child-care homes, parent education, and research-based programs that enhance children’s early development. Learn more about our recent grants.

Rochester’s Child Funds:

  • Child-care centers and family child cares gain and maintain national accreditation — a hallmark of excellence in care and education
  • Quality early childhood development programs and enrichment programs
  • Parent education, skill building, and empowerment 
  • Prenatal programs that care for expectant parents and support their child-care choices
  • Advocacy for quality and access to high quality early care and education

Join Us

Rochester’s Child invites your participation in this important work by becoming a working committee member, supporter, or advocate. Email Nancy Kaplan, coordinator, or call her at 585.341.4411 for more information.

Our Working Committee
Richard A. Markus, Chair
James Brush
Marsha Dumka
Mark Eidlin
Danner Hickman
Richard Kaplan
Dorthea King-Simpson
Richard McGrath
Caroline Merenda
Dan Ross
Maxine Smith

Nancy Kaplan, Coordinator