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Front Page » October 18, 2007 » United Way focus » Early Head Start gives kids one leg up on life
Published 2,908 days ago

Early Head Start gives kids one leg up on life

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Early Head Start is a free, home based program for low-income families with infants and toddlers, with disabilities, and pregnant women.

Ten percent of our families may be over-income. Our mission is to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, enhance the development of very young children, and promote healthy family functioning.

So what does Early Head Start have to offer?

•Weekly home visits. Our family educators are highly trained, caring and nurturing individuals. They will share information with parents on ways to help children learn and grow.

•Parent and child socializations. A great way to have fun together, meet other children and parents.

•Education workshops and classes.

•Parent meetings.

•Early intervention through screenings and assessments.

•PAT (parents as teachers) curriculum.

•Volunteer opportunities.

First with Early Head Start is education. In order for children to grow into well rounded, socially skilled learners, Early Head Start explores the emotional and intellectual needs of each child and then tailors the program include developmentally appropriate learning and playing activities. Through activities like reading, singing, finger painting, play times, interacting with others, and socializations, Early Head Start stimulates the children's imaginations and positive interaction with others while developing a healthy sense of self. Early Head Start also offers a program that is specifically designed to teach new and expectant parents how to provide for the healthy growth of their infants and toddlers.

Parent involvement is also important. There is so much more to building healthy families than just the growth of children. Early Head Start helps parents determine their family needs and use the resources available to them. With programs like the Policy Council, volunteering, child care, and even opportunities for employment with Early Head Start, parents cultivate their own skills and confidence. Early Head Start helps them become self-sufficient, as well as their children's primary teachers.

Volunteering is also an important part. Parents, community members and students are used in various volunteer positions throughout the program. Policy council, parent/community committees, special events, various group meetings and classes, and assisting with parent socializations are only a few examples of our many volunteer opportunities.

Children learning to read early is another goal. Parents of children enrolled in Early Head Start are encouraged to read to their children, to improve their own reading skills, and to continue their own education. In this way, parents are better equipped to overcome obstacles in their life, and children are able to live in a home where reading is an important part of everyday life.

Early Head Start also offers family services. Many families face serious financial difficulties, poor access to medical care, and even violence at home. Early Head Start works with families to improve these conditions so they can achieve their full potential.

Families with disabilities are also important. Many families and children have their own special needs. At least 10 percent of our openings are reserved for children with disabilities who learn and grow side-by-side with other children.

We love questions about our program. We are here weekdays from 8-5 p.m. Please call our offices and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have and/or assist you in enrolling in our Early Head Start program. We are locatd at 745 East 200 South in Price or you can call 613-9492 for more information.

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