What does Early Beginnings do?
Early Beginnings provides development and parenting education for families. They customize both virtual and in-person programs to the needs of each family. Specific services include a book/media lending library, childbirth education, community networking, developmental screenings, educational newsletters, and preschool transitioning. The best part is, all of it is free!
They believe parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. All children can achieve their full potential through the proper support and resources. A loving home provides the foundation for success in school and life. Early Beginnings can help parents with various challenges, connect them to resources that provide food and diapers (like us!!), and play with their children in new, creative ways.
The COVID pandemic made it difficult to connect with families, but Early Beginnings is proud of its flexibility in adjusting service formats. They now offer virtual personal visits, live online readings and music time, virtual parent groups, and dropped-off activity kits for families. As things return to normal, they are impressed with how successful the program was at navigating the many challenges of the last few years.
Why does it matter?
This work is incredibly important in supporting new parents. Children who participate in programs like Early Beginnings are healthier. They also score higher on Kindergarten readiness tests, solve problems better, and advance more quickly in language and social development.
The organization shared the following story about their work’s impact: During a diaper drive for Loving Bottoms, a mother who was in the Early Beginnings program 15 years ago shared her experience. She was expecting her first baby when she found the Early Beginnings program and met her parent educator. Her parent educator helped her feel less alone in becoming a parent. She attributes participating in Early Beginnings to her ability to care for a newborn, grow as a parent, and learn about child development. She went on to successfully parent all four of her children and feels that those early moments with her parent educator laid the foundation for the relationships she now has with her children.
If you or someone you know is expecting a child or has children age birth to three years old, more information about services is available at http://www.roe26.net/early-beginnings. . Additionally, the program coordinator, Christine Nichols, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.