October marks National Head Start Awareness Month. Head Start programming at Children’s Home & Aid promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children. Through Head Start, we offer educational, health, disability, mental health, nutrition and social services to children from 3 to 5 years of age.

Early Childhood Care & Education is one of Children’s Home & Aid’s largest programs. In addition to Head Start, we provide a comprehensive array of services in this program including Early Head Start, Preschool for All, Home Based Care, and Child Resource & Referral programs. Our Early Childhood Centers offer childcare, education, health services and meals to children aged just six weeks to six years old. These centers provide priority enrollment to children considered at-risk, including children of adolescent parents, victims of child abuse and/or neglect, and children from very low-income households.

At Children’s Home & Aid, we know early years of a child’s life set the stage for a lifetime of learning. All healthy children are born with the capacity to learn. However, beginning at about three years of age, children from high-risk environments (defined by poverty, young parental age, single parents, and low maternal education) begin to show significant deficits. If these deficits are not addressed, many at-risk children could face a lifetime of obstacles. Research shows the most cost-effective and successful way to close this achievement gap is through early intervention childhood education.

Children participating in Children’s Home & Aid’s Early Childhood Care and Education programs have demonstrated several positive outcomes, including: better preparedness for Kindergarten, better access to immunizations and health care, improved language skills, improved social/emotional developmental functioning, and improved cognitive functioning. In a 2018 survey of parents and caregivers of children in Early Childhood Care and Education programs, 95% reported that their children were more prepared for Kindergarten.

For more information on our early childhood care and education programs, please visit: https://www.childrenshomeandaid.org/early-childhood-care-education/.