P.O. Box 367
1600 Falmouth Road, Unit 25
Centerville, MA 02632
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Did you Know? 

Children from low income families are exposed to 30 million fewer words than their higher income peers by age 3. 

What is ‘STRONG from the START’?

‘STRONG from the START’ is a Cape and Islands United Way initiative formed by a multidisciplinary group of local experts, the STRONG from the START Advisory Council. The initiative has been in development for nearly a year, as experts brainstormed ways to support our youngest children and their families and get “upstream” of the challenges we see in our community including substance abuse, mental health, financial instability, and homelessness. The STRONG from the START Advisory Council carefully developed a platform of goals and activities that will be launched throughout the Cape. The initiative, “STRONG from the START” is designed to strengthen, coordinate, and integrate the network of services available to parents of young children, and to use existing opportunities to connect, engage and educate. This initiative is supported by Women United

Listen to Barbara Milligan discuss Strong from the Start on Chris Boyd’s podcast: Something More.


STRONG from the START Advisory Council Representatives: 

Robin Hayward, A Baby Center; Beth Bowman, Chris Eosco, Marie Bigelow, and Barbara Milligan, Cape and Islands United Way; Cindy Horgan, Cape Cod Children’s Place; Daniel Rodrigues, Cape Cod Healthcare; Sonia Schonning, Cape Cod Child Development; Paul Melville, Cape Cod Family Resource Center; Tina Toran, Coalition for Children; Harwich Early Childhood Council representatives; Francie Joseph, Monomoy School District; Lauren Melillo, Sandwich Partnership for Families; Cynthia Levangie, Women Infants and Children Program (WIC) 

Goals of STRONG from the START:

  • Reduce the Achievement Gap
  • Create an eco-system of support and care for parents on Cape Cod
  • Promote positive social and emotional development

Core Strategies:

  • Promote Early Literacy and Reduce the Word Gap
  • Activity:  Support Reach Out and Read – read our recent post
  • Activity: Create Professional Development Opportunities
  • Promote Connection and Reduce Parent Isolation
    • Activity:  Develop Local Resource Guide
    •  Activity: Host a Community Baby Shower
    • Activity: Support Parent Education Programs
  • Empower Families
    • Activity:  Develop a Care Map
  • Promote Family Engagement
    • Activity:  Launch a Screen-Free ‘til 3 campaign
    • Activity: Host Family Dinner Events
    • Activity: Support Home Visiting Program
  • Provide Access to High-Quality Child Care
    • Activity: Build a Child Care Trust Fund