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Nonprofit Report: The Rochester Childfirst Network

The Rochester Childfirst Network is a nonprofit agency dedicated to advancing the quality of early education and care in Western New York through leadership, advocacy and innovative direct services to children.

The organization began in 1857 when a group of civic-minded women founded the Industrial School of Rochester. Their first act of generosity was to offer a Christmas meal to 300 poor children.

As the third-oldest early education center in the United States, Rochester Childfirst Network has evolved with the changing needs of society and children. RCN emphasizes social-emotional skill development that helps children develop positive relationships with each other, their teachers, their families and their communities.

RCN’s content-rich programs help children develop foundational skills in language, literacy, math, problem solving and self-control. It attracts children and families from Rochester, Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield, Greece and the Rush-Henrietta area.

Programs include:

  • Home care: Professional development is provided for those who care for children in their homes. RCN is dedicated to quality child care throughout the community by making sure the family child care providers have best practices to serve the thousands of children in their care.
  • Expanded prekindergarten: Rochester Childfirst Network was selected to participate in the Rochester school district’s expanded pre-K program for 3 year olds. RCN will offer this program at two locations, focusing on early learning and building a foundation of social emotional development.
  • Special education: RCN is a recognized leader in early intervention and preschool special education, from birth to age 5. Nurturing professionals guide children as they develop critical skills, helping them to reach their full potential.
  • Kids club: RCN provides a before- and after-school care program for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The AfterSchool Works accredited program fosters healthy habits, good citizenship and academic success in a safe, supportive environment. RCN’s curriculum infuses anti-bullying lessons that encourage trust and communication so children can be themselves.
  • Backyard adventures summer program: RCN provides a safe learning environment for children in grades kindergarten through sixth each summer. It offers engaging, weekly themed activities that address summer learning loss by preparing and implementing the lessons based on the New York State Common Core standards.
  • Family child care: RCN offers quality professional development and assistance to over 150 home-based child-care providers with workshops on child development, health and safety issues, and state licensing procedures. RCN also sponsors the Child and Adult Care Food Program, which offers reimbursement for providers serving nutritious meals to children in their care.
  • Early Learning Training Academy is a community education resource that strengthens the local early childhood infrastructure through innovative, professional development support for practitioners and leaders.
  • RCN employs approximately 81 people led by executive director Lynn Lubecki and is located at 941 South Ave.  Another office is in Sibley Square downtown. The website is rcn4kids.org.

Financial record    Year ended June 30, 2015
Revenue        %
Program services     $2,225,240    52
Grants    1,494,986    35
Foundation support    321,801    8
Public support & contributions    244,896    6
Other income    5,517    less than 1%
Total revenue    $4,292,440

Expenses        %
Program services    $3,810,595    87
Management and general    372,053    9
Fundraising    198,183    5
Total expenses    $4,380,831
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses ($88,391)

Board of directors
Jeri Rombaut, chairman
Barry Wisset, vice chairman
Eileen Cavalier, treasurer
Lisa McCabe, secretary
Daniel Basch
Alissa Cogan
Mary Drechsler
Michelle Halloran
Jara Johnson
Meagan Kinsella
Wendy Lehmann
Amy Michatek
Barbara Reifler
Karl Schuler
Joseph Sergio
Muriel Steinberg
Jennifer Takatch
Robert Van Niel
Garry Vernon
Kim Weick
David Whitaker
Nicole Wilson
Andrea Zuegel

If you are interested in having your group featured in the Nonprofit Report, please contact Rochester Business Journal  at (585) 546-8303, ext. 114, or email walden@rbj.net.

10/14/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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