Early Childhood Education

Objectives

Objective 1 – To educate parents

  • To educate parents about the importance of reading to their children from birth and enrolling them in Voluntary Pre Kindergarten (VPK) through resources such as the Regency Women’s and Infants Hospital, the Winter Haven Library, pediatricians offices, the school system, the media, and others.

 Objective 2 – To assure Winter Haven has quality child care centers and homes to serve out children

  • Encourage childcare centers to participate in the Quality Counts initiative and make all directors aware of Winter Haven’s desire for quality centers.

Collaborative Efforts Underway

  • Every child born at the Regency goes home with a book and letter to the parents about the importance of reading daily to the baby.
  • Each baby also receives a library card
  • 143 children are receiving a book once a month
  • A listing is now available of all childcare centers and childcare homes in the Winter Haven area
  • Camp Ready came to Winter Haven to prepare unprepared 4 year olds for kindergarten.  Children received, on average, 7 months of growth in a one month program.
  • 11/33 childcare centers have signed up for Quality Counts
  • Information has been distributed to all pediatricians offices about the importance of  VPK and we have encouraged the physicians and staff to talk to parents about their child being ready for school.
  • A local pediatrician is starting a ‘Reach Out and Read’ program at her office.  She will be giving books to every child when they visit the office and is seeking volunteers to read to the children in her waiting room.
  • The Early Learning Coalition has moved a significant portion of their business to Winter Haven.

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