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Early Childhood Program

PROGRAM NAME  Early Childhood Program
PROGRAM OVERVIEW The primary goal of our Early Childhood Program is to support the optimum development of young children through promoting responsive, nurturing, developmentally supportive home and early education environments in an effort to:

  • Improve behavior and school readiness in children participating in our program
  • Promote improved parenting practices and increased networks of support for the child and family
  • Improve the capacity of childcare professionals to provide effective early education and care to children with emotional and behavioral challenges
WHO WE SERVE The Early Childhood Program serves young children, age birth to six, who are experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulty, their parents and caregivers.
WHERE WE PROVIDE SERVICES Our main office is located at the Howard Center Child, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS) building at 1138 Pine Street in Burlington, though we provide services in children’s homes and at early care and education settings throughout Chittenden County. Currently these settings include Trinity Children’s Center, Burlington Children’s Space, Pine Forest Children’s Community, King Street Youth Center preschool, Sara Holbrook preschool, and the Franklin Square Head Start Classroom.  Additionally our Early Connections Program is offered at the O’Brien Community Center in Winooski.
WHAT SERVICES WE PROVIDE Early Childhood and Family Mental Health (ECFMH) services take place in the milieu of the young child – at home and in early care and education programs.  In these settings, we provide a wide range of services to eligible children and their families including:

  • In-home parenting support
  • Supportive counseling for children and adult family members
  • Mental and behavioral health training, consultation and support
  • Advocacy/case management
  • One to one interventionist supports in the community and classroom for up to five hours a week

ECFMH services are also provided to qualified children and families through embedded supports at Therapeutic Child Care sites in Chittenden County. Within these settings, our services provide extra behavioral supports in the classroom along with family supports provided at home and in the community.

Early Childhood Program is the mental health consultant for Head Start in Chittenden County, and provides consultation to all Head Start classrooms as well as Head Start families upon request.

Our Early Connections Program at the O’Brien Community Center provides more intensive supports for enrolled mothers with children under three through a twice weekly/nine-month long program that mothers and children attend together. It includes play space for the children, mom’s groups, and the opportunity to be a part of a community of mothers with young children.  It is a Reach Up approved activity.

HOW SERVICES ARE FUNDED ECFMH direct services and consultations are funded primarily through Medicaid dollars originating with both Department for Children and Families- Child Development Division, and Department of Mental Health. Non-Medicaid families may also access our services. There is no direct charge to children or families participating in this program.
HOW TO MAKE REFERRALS Referrals can be made by calling the Children’s Integrated Services Intake number at 802-860-4426. This number is a centralized referral number for all inquiries and referrals regarding all services for children under six in Chittenden County.
PRINTABLE PDF Early Childhood Program Description -2 Page PDF
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