August 3, 2017
Living Classrooms Foundation is pleased to announce the September opening of a Head Start Program at 1116 E. Fayette Street to address the community-articulated need for school readiness for incoming kindergarteners.
The facility at Fayette will provide Head Start services for up to 80 children ages 3 and 4 beginning September 5th after a short renovation period. The program will expand to serve up to 100 children in the next few years.
Living Classrooms has partnered with the Y of Central Maryland, a not-for-profit with a long history of serving the most underserved members of the community with high quality early childhood education programming. Early childhood is a time of remarkable growth and rapid transformation. Children who are ready for kindergarten are twice as likely as those who are not to complete middle school with strong academic and social skills. This trend is evident in Baltimore City, where a longitudinal study demonstrated that public school students who entered school ready to learn in kindergarten continued to achieve well into 6th grade compared to their peers who were still developing.
This Head Start programming will be provided by the Y of Central Maryland at no cost for eligible families. Head Start is an accredited federally funded education program that has proven effective in preparing 3 and 4 year-olds for a strong start of school at the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten levels.
The well-regulated program is required by federal law to serve community members who meet federal poverty criteria. Preference will be given to children living in the Target Investment Zone, including the public housing communities of Perkins Homes, Pleasant View Gardens, Douglass Homes, and Latrobe Homes. In addition, Living Classrooms Foundation will actively recruit parents of children in the Head Start program for workforce development opportunities offered by Living Classrooms at the UA House next door to the facility. These workforce development opportunities will include training and certification in early childhood education, filling a critical gap in availability of certified child educators and providing community members in highly employable skills.
Our Community Engagement Staff have been working with members of the Tenant Councils of surrounding communities to effectively communicate new programming for the community and assistance available to families and staff. Living Classrooms Foundation and the Y of Central Maryland have gone door to door in surrounding public housing communities to make families aware of new opportunities.
Transition Services Available
Living Classrooms Community Engagement Staff requested contact information for the families of the previous tenant (Little Dimples II) on multiple occasions in order to help families implement a transition plan that works best for the individual family. The previous tenant has refused to provide that information or notify current participants that transition assistance is available.
Families of children ages 0 to 5 who wish to transition to another daycare facility are being assisted in finding local licensed childcare that accepts vouchers or provides scholarships. There are six such providers within .5 miles and 19 within 1 mile. Families in need of assistance with transition should contact Living Classrooms Foundation at (410) 685-0295.
Families of children ages 3 and 4 are encouraged to apply for Head Start services at the Fayette Center. Families can contact the Y directly by phone (410) 608-7464 or by email YCityHeadStart@ymaryland.org. Families who are eligible for vouchers should be eligible for free Head Start services.
Children ages 5 to 12 are welcome to attend the free summer programming next door at the UA House at Fayette operated by Living Classrooms Foundation in session now and the free after school program in the fall.