Waldo Community Action Partners is gearing up to launch an Early Head Start program in Waldo County to provide services to low-income parents of infants and toddlers. WCAP has provided Head Start preschool for nearly 40 years, and has lately received a new grant that allows for expansion into prenatal and infant/toddler programming.

Early Head Start services are scheduled to begin June 1, providing home visits for 40 families with children from birth to age 3; prenatal support for five expectant families; and full-day care for five infants and toddlers in an accredited childcare center. Early Head Start services are free for enrolled families.

Early Head Start is based on the philosophy that parents are the primary educators of their children. Home visitors and an Early Head Start nurse work with pregnant mothers and their families, connecting them to important resources and preparing for the life changes that come with a new baby. After the baby’s arrival, the home visitor continues to make weekly visits, providing information and parenting guidance.

Home visitors and parents of infants and toddlers work as a team to develop positive parenting skills, support children’s healthy development, and respond to physical, intellectual and emotional needs. In addition, Early Head Start families get together twice a month to share the challenges and joys of parenting.

Applications for Early Head Start are being accepted now. Expectant mothers and parents of infants and toddlers under the age of 3 can call 338-3827, ext. 206, for more information.