Chicanos Por La Causa’s Early Head Start program is engaging kids during their most critical years - AZEdNews
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Chicanos Por La Causa’s Early Head Start program is engaging kids during their most critical years

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  • Mari Jo Salazar/ Chicanos Por La Causa

Chicanos Por La Causa Early Head Start Image

In central Phoenix, Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) has provided valuable early childhood development services for close to two decades.

CPLC Early Head Start program is working with children – and their parents – from birth to age three to ensure that each child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has an opportunity to a successful start in education, by teaching the parent that they are the child’s first teacher.

Expect More Arizona video: Chicanos Por La Causa’s Early Head Start program

This timeframe is targeted to reach children at a time when they are taking in vast amounts of information. In fact, a child’s brain develops more during the first five years than at any other time in life. These formative years will have a lasting impact on their ability to learn and succeed.

CPLC, one of the largest Hispanic nonprofits in the country, is dedicated to promoting stronger and healthier communities throughout the southwest. As part of that, the Early Head Start program provides full day, year round services to low-income families and their children in an educational and stimulating learning environment. Currently active at two facilities in the South Phoenix area, families with children 0-3 and pregnant mothers can apply to receive services.

EHS has eight classrooms, six at the Phoenix Center and two at the Murphy center. Each classroom is led by two professional teachers who observe, evaluate and create lesson plans for their classrooms with a goal to reach the areas of development. Whether it’s an art project, outdoor play, or formal lesson, everything points toward helping children become school-ready. The classrooms are even taught in a dual-language environment to capitalize on early language learning ability.

To ensure that the growth extends to the home, CPLC works with parents as a child’s first teacher. By sending home engaging activities and encouraging parents to volunteer in the classroom, kids are able to absorb more learning.

With close to 100 children currently enrolled, the program is helping to address the Arizona Education Progress Meter goal to have 45 percent of children enrolled in quality early learning programs. EHS wants learning to continue after Early Head Start is completed – CPLC helps families to transition to City of Phoenix Head Start for age-appropriate learning opportunities, when the time comes.

Teaching staff are ecstatic about the benefits of Early Head Start. One parent credits the opportunity with helping her secure a better job; another knows that Early Head Start helped her special needs twins grow into excelling students. More broadly, CPLC’s Early Head Start program has reached more than 100 families per school year.

For more success stories from across Arizona, visit the Expect More Excellence Tour.