Skip-A-Long Offers Early Head Start
New help is now available for low income families and their children. Skip-a-Long Child Development Services will use a federal grant to offer the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Program.
CEO Marcy Mendenhall says until now Head Start has focused on preparing four year olds for kindergarten.
"We will be able to stretch back to helping parents who are expecting, infants, and toddlers, to make sure they're getting their developmental needs met, making sure they're growing and developing appropriately, and begin them on their education journey."
The new program will include a disability coordinator, mental health manager, and a manager for health and nutrition.
There's room for 168 children and 40 pregnant women at Skip-a-Long centers in Rock Island, Moline, and Milan, plus some other day care sites in Rock lsland, Henry, and Mercer counties.
"When you think about Head Start you think about the pre-school programming that we service, which is fabulous. But we're really going back to how do we help children in the beginning parts of their life to be able to be strong, healthy, and have a good education base."
The Early Head Start Program is made possible by a grant of 3.8 million dollars a year, for five years, from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Families and children can sign up beginning this week. (Angela Casteel, eligibility director (309)764-8110 or www.salfcs.org/ehs)