I took an intro to education class in college, and quickly realized that teaching was my calling. It’s absolutely in my DNA. I can’t imagine not working in early childhood. I’m thrilled to lead the home-based Early Head Start program at Development Centers.
We serve pregnant moms, all the way up to children age 3. Many families don’t come to us looking for home-based, but find it really suits them because we bring the learning to their home. It’s a great option, especially when center-based spots aren’t available.
We know parents are their child’s best first teacher. Parents are the experts on their children. Our home visitors bring their expertise in childhood development to create a true partnership with our families. Each child has an individual learning plan that we work with the parent – from setting goals to planning the next visit.
A home visitor spends 90 minutes with a child and family every week. We always bring an activity for the parent and child to do together during the visit. For example, we show parents things they can use from around the house to use as nesting toys, and then show them all of the ways to play with their child using that toy. They can count cups, stack them, sort them and talk about different sizes. Then, the parent does the activity with the child and the home visitor talks with the parent about all of the things their child is learning from that activity.
We also offer weekly socialization classes. We want children to interact with other children and with their parent in a group setting. It’s also wonderful to see parents networking, even doing carpooling together. They’re developing their own support network of other involved parents.
We try to help parents with whatever they need. We’ve brought bunk beds, furniture, food pantry items, diapers and referrals to other programs so families can learn how to use the resources in our community. We also provide referrals to early intervention programs and other family service supports.
We talk about “it takes a village.” We want people to feel like they’re part of a family, part of our village supporting their children.