Educational disadvantages take root early and are difficult to overcome and falling behind early can have serious lifelong effects on the child’s education and economic success.
The Kennett Square Family Center has been helping southern Chester County parents carry out their role as their children’s first teachers since 2006. Our bilingual, bicultural Parent Educators use the nationally-recognized, evidence-based Parents as Teachers (PAT) Born to Learn™ home visiting model which equips parents with the information, support, resources, and encouragement they need to provide their children with the foundation for a lifetime of learning. Our Parent Educators:
- Screen all children for developmental delays and link to Early Intervention services, if necessary
- Complete structured home visits with activities geared toward teaching kids preschool skills and involving parents in their child’s education
- Facilitate group educational activities with age-appropriate curriculum
- Enroll uninsured, eligible children into health insurance
- Teach bilingual parenting education; and
- Conduct an intensive summer-long Kindergarten Transition Program focused on preparing incoming kindergartners and their parents for school and assisting parents with school registration.
Our Family Center now has two special programs targeting particular populations: teen and young adult parents, and fathers. Our Young Parents Program targets parents ages 15-24 and helps them to overcome the special challenges they face to becoming successful parents, such as dealing with family issues, learning about the responsibilities of parenting, and dedicating time to addressing their own education and career prospects. Our Fatherhood Initiative helps fathers learn to become more engaged in their children’s growth and development, and become more effective husbands and fathers.
“The Kennett Square Family Center has been an excellent resource for the parents of young children. As a public health nurse, I see the need for families to have guidance in parenting at young ages, and to receive the support in enrolling their children in kindergarten. I make many referrals to the Family Center and consider myself a strong partner … I feel that this referral extends and enriches, what I have started teaching in the home, and without the Family Center’s continuing service, my intervention will have less effect. We leverage each other’s interventions to provide a continuum of care, which has the greatest hope of breaking the chain of poor child care.”
– Joan Holliday, Public Health Nurse, Chester County Health Department