United Way Family Center Early Childhood Development
The United Way Family Center’s Early Childhood Education Program provides wraparound services to parenting and expectant students and their families to increase educational success and promote a strong parent-child attachment.
The Early Childhood Education Program provides on-site child care for infants and toddlers from birth through three years. This allows students to have consistent, reliable child care and promotes bonding between parent and child during the day at lunch time.
The Creative Curriculum is utilized to promote learning and school readiness from infancy. The Early Childhood Education Program has a full time social worker to promote attachment and bonding between parent and child through prenatal and parenting groups. Evidence-based curricula are utilized to increase students’ effectiveness in parenting and promote personal development.
Daily lunch groups are utilized to promote a strong parent-child bond through attachment activities. Additional services, such as case management, counseling, referral to outside resources and home visiting, are offered to all students that are expectant or parenting.
Family Center staff utilizes ongoing assessment, such as Teaching Strategies Gold, Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) and Ages and Stages Questionnaires- Social Emotional (ASQ-SE), to monitor children’s development and NCAST to measure enhanced parenting skills in order to identify individual needs and cater services appropriately.
As of January 2017, the United Way Family Center’s Early Childhood Education Program has worked with over a hundred parents and children within Ben Franklin High School and the community. These families have made huge strides educationally and in their relationships with each other. To date, the Family Center has had 10 graduates, a 100% graduation rate for graduation track seniors.
In addition, by the end of their first year in the program, all families have scored within average to above average range for quality of parent-child interactions as compared to their peers. Parents can see the difference in their children from being in the program.
As stated by one of our 2016 graduates about her daughter, “She is the first in her class to be able to do skills, like cutting with scissors. Who do I have to thank for that? Mostly you at the Family Center.”