The Early Head Start Program is based primarily at the Family Resource Centers in each county. The Family Resource Centers each have a toy and resource lending library, including books and videos on child development and parenting issues. Programs through the resource centers include a warmline, computer and Internet access for families and community members, and monthly parenting and child care provider workshops. The resource centers publish a monthly newsletter that goes out to Early Head Start and Head Start families, childcare providers and other interested community members.
Early Head Start also provides weekly home visits and socialization activities for enrolled families. During the home visit staff and families work together to identify and meet child development goals. The socialization activities include a parent/child interactive playgroup that meets weekly at the Family Resource Center. The playgroups are open to both Early Head Start families and to the community. Family Fun Events are another socialization activity offered to enrolled Early Head Start and Head Start families that have a variety of parent/child activities, including a meal that is planned by families with staff assistance.
Early Head Start’s programming is similar to Head Start’s; however, family services begin before birth, with a particular focus on:
The centerpiece of Early Head Start is a weekly home visit where experienced, qualified staff work with each family in identifying goals for both the child and whole family. Individual plans for socialization, health, learning, and other developmental issues are developed in partnering between staff and parents or guardians.
Increasingly, the results of research on child development have had a recurring theme: “the earlier the better!” Early Head Start is Renewal’s way of ensuring that children get a healthy beginning — even before birth! Visit our local centers at left and see how we’re helping kids and families grow up strong and healthy.
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In the fall of 1995 Renewal Unlimited was selected to develop an Early Head Start Program, one of only 68 agencies in the nation to be funded and the first program in Wisconsin. The Early Head Start Program annually serves 75 low-income pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families in Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Juneau and Sauk counties through a transdisciplinary team model providing comprehensive Head Start services.
Renewal was awarded an Early Head Start Expansion Grant in December, 2008 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act . This grant allowed us to serve an additional 70 pregnant women, infants and toddlers in the five county service area. Seven new Family Advocates were hired in February 2009. There was one new Family Advocate at each of the Family Resource Centers of Adams County, Columbia County and Dodge County. Two Advocates were placed in Juneau County and an additional two Advocates were placed in Sauk County. The Early Head Start Expansion Grant was funded for a period of two years. In September, 2011, the Expansion Grant became a regular part of Renewal’s funding, allowing Renewal to provide Early Head Start services to 145 pregnant mothers, infants, and toddlers on an annual basis.
The information provided here does not reflect a complete description of programs or eligibility requirements. Guidelines for eligibility may vary by grant and by year. Please contact the program administrator for complete details.