Early Childhood Learning@100%: Innovation 8
Supporting Cities and Counties
The projects presented in the ten innovations areas are all designed to address barriers to vital services. Action teams should review all projects and prioritize those that have the best chance of addressing the barriers identified in the 100% New Mexico countywide survey. Your collaborative and result-focused local work is nothing less than heroic.
Project: Early Childhood Learning.8.1
Project 1: The “family-friendly city on the go” project
Early childhood learning is about more than just a place to drop off a child or workshops and visits by caring professionals. It’s about having a wide range of services to make a parenting easier and providing as many opportunities for early childhood development as possible. These opportunities might come in the form of a children’s museum or other child-friendly environments. We need to evaluate if there is a public transport system that accommodates baby strollers. Are there sidewalks for safe walking and strollering? Are there bike lanes for parents with kids on wheels? Are there easy-to-access restrooms in city and town centers for parents and families? Can you stroll to a kiosk in front of city hall or a business downtown (as they do in NYC) to get directed to every family-friendly service downtown? The answers to these questions may end up on your to-do list.
Of course, as long as we’re making the world excellent for parents, it’s worth noting that lots of youth and child-free adults like those options for transportation and recreation alike. The more your city has sidewalks, bike lanes, multi-use trails, well-enforced speed limits and roads designed in such a way as to encourage slower speeds (https://www.aae.how/164), the more likely you’ll be to see families and all sorts of people getting around without a car. Some cities, especially on the East Coast, are already pretty close to this. But often Western cities, particularly those developed after the popularization of the car, will need to retrofit these features into their current urban landscape and, as a bonus, make sure they come standard in new development.