Center for Children and Families
Children and families have unique and diverse needs, which are amplified and more widespread among children and families living in poverty. Additional difficulties are faced by children of immigrants whose parents struggle with barriers to access support services. Developmental delays are prevalent. Language processing efficiency deficits associated with low family income have been found in children as young as 19 months of age. These skills are fundamental to a child’s vocabulary growth. Moreover, by age 4, these children fall an average of 18 months behind their more affluent peers in vocabulary, pre-literacy, and self-regulation—critically needed skills for successful classroom learning and school success. Interventions to bridge these disparities and improve outcomes for at-risk children are clearly needed.
Based on the latest child development research of our faculty and colleagues and affirmed by evaluations of program impact, a relationship-centered approach drives our work addressing the needs of young children and their parents.
- Play With Me (Juega Conmigo) Program
- This program offers weekly, free-of-charge, playful learning classes for at-risk children ages 0-3 together with their parents. The classes foster and support children’s healthy brain development and optimal parent-child relationship, laying a strong foundation for school readiness.
- Grow With Me (Crece Conmigo) Program
- This program provides free screenings to identify and prevent developmental disorders in the earliest years, serving children participating in Play With Me, screening fairs and collaborative partnerships. The screenings, including developmental guidance coupled with written reports of the screening results and referrals and follow-up when needs are identified, are critically needed to support healthy development.
Specifically, gifts support:
- The on-going operation of the Play With Me (Juega Conmigo) weekly program at five current program sites.
- Developmental screenings for children enrolled in Play With Me and other young children in partnerships with local agencies.
- Program evaluation and monitoring program outcomes for children and parents.
Our outreach service programs have directly impacted more than 2,000 young children and their 1,900 parents over the past eight years.