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Guest Blog: How Vroom Speaks to Every CCR&R Audience

Pictured here (l-r) are Barbara-Ann Mattle, CEO of Child Care Council, Inc. and Mary LaMantia, Sr. Director of the Vroom Partnership

Vroom provides interactive tools and resources that highlight the science behind early brain development, showing parents how they can turn everyday activities like bath time and meal time into opportunities that build their children’s brains. The Vroom Partnership at Child Care Aware® of America is made up of ten Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies who educate and provide Vroom resources to families, providers, and organizations in their communities so they too understand the importance of brain development during the first five years of life. Learn more about Vroom here.

I have been a Vroom Ambassador since the inception of the program in 2016, and I still marvel at the way this program seems to speak to so many different audiences. There is just something about the design of the materials that makes them adaptable to every place, whether I am presenting to large and small groups or simply talking to people on a one-to-one basis.

Let me share just a few examples:

The first place I used Vroom materials was at a support meeting for family child care providers. I simply made copies of three of the sample cards and included information on the online services. As soon as the providers had the materials in their hands, they responded with ideas on how Vroom could support their work with parents. They said that parents were always asking for support advice and that the tip cards were a perfect way to give parents that support. They were very excited to be included in the project.

As soon as we had the tip cards, I began carrying them in my purse. I got into the habit of handing them out whenever I encountered a parent with a young child at the airport, at restaurants, at the grocery store. I would tell parents that Vroom is a program that recognizes you for doing fun things with your child and then tells you how you are building the child’s brain; it was all they needed to get excited about the program!

Next, we had the opportunity to have the program presented to all of our CCR&R staff. They were asked to share how the materials could be used in their own departments. There were, again, amazing responses. The professional development team, for instance, planned to introduce Vroom at each of their regularly scheduled classes on child development as well as in the CDA classes. The family child care registration, inspection, and CACFP teams proposed bringing the cards to their visits to family child care homes.

Perhaps the most unusual audience so far has been my presentation to the United Methodist Women. This particular group was primarily made up of retired senior citizens. I was truly pleased when they not only responded positively to the material but were excited to have the opportunity to share tip cards and the online connection options with their children and grandchildren. Some even asked for additional copies of the tip cards because they had multiple grandchildren who were expecting babies.

Recently, I was asked to share the material with the regional office of our state child care regulatory agency here in New York. This is usually a tough crowd, so I was apprehensive. Many times these visits can be difficult because the licensor is finding things that need to be corrected. Once again the response was truly amazing! They were excited about having something that they could share with providers on-site visits.

We at the Child Care Council, Inc. are having a great time tracking the new and unusual audience responses to these amazing materials. We have yet to find an audience that has not put a new spin on the use and applicability of Vroom.

 

Child Care Aware® of America is bringing Vroom to Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies in 10 communities across the nation. Vroom resources are also available through our social channels @USAChildCare.

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