High Quality Early Care and Education
The primary purpose of the CHILD Center is to provide high quality and evidence-based early care and education services to children and their families from the SWAG communities and beyond. Our classrooms will allow children an opportunity to develop the strong foundation they need to be successful at kindergarten entry. Not only will there be a strong emphasis on traditional academic skills, our teachers and staff will work to cultivate the social and emotional development of the children in a positive, fun way.
The CHILD Center has 4 classrooms: One for infants, one for toddlers, and two older kid classrooms (3s and 4s) that provide both a Head Start program, VPK and extended day services.
Family Education and Supports
The CHILD Center offers a variety of family education opportunities. Family learning opportunities will include informal learning through volunteering in children’s classrooms, informal family support groups where families will come together to discuss effective parenting strategies, and parent/child engagement sessions to encourage the ‘serve and return’ interactions supportive of healthy brain development. In addition, active partnerships with other agencies will support connections and coordination of outside services for children and families when needed.
Model Demonstration Center Professional Development Program
A primary function of a true model and demonstration site is to support knowledge dissemination and diffusion of practices that are evidence-based and practically applied in the field of Early Care and Education. To fulfill this function, the CHILD Center will support teacher professional development through workshops to early childhood professionals throughout Alachua County. The CHILD Center will also provide on-the-job training and professional development to aspiring teachers. This apprenticeship program will not only provide a new model for workforce development in a field mired by low-wages but will also support job growth among the SWAG community by providing training and opportunity for career advancement for job applicants from this area. The CHILD Center will actively work to cultivate the necessary leadership skills (e.g. effective supervision, coaching, fiscal planning, operations management) among the “Gatekeepers of Quality” within Early Care and Education Programs in Alachua county and beyond.
Model Demonstration Center Collaboration Hub
In addition to providing the aforementioned direct services to the children, families and teachers in the SWAG neighborhoods the physical site of the CHILD Center will be open for use to support Alachua County and surrounding areas. The CHILD Center will offer a unique learning and collaboration space available to community members interested in learning from the practices of the CHILD Center, observing evidence-based early learning experiences in-action, or for convening stakeholder meetings to discuss ongoing community engagement and early care and education system improvement. For example, the CHILD Center could host college courses endeavoring to prepare an Early Care and Education workforce, interdisciplinary courses convening students from diverse academic disciplines (Health, Social Work Education) to learn about the importance of interagency, multi-sector collaboration to support healthy growth and development of young children and their families.
820 SW 62nd Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32607
6:30am – 7:00pm