STRATFORD, Conn. – Stratford Parents’ Place (SPP) recently celebrated another successful year of its Family, Friends and Neighbors program.
More than 15 child care providers attended this year’s celebration, which included a dinner and a raffle for toys and baby equipment. Many of the items were donated to Parents’ Place through the Junior Women’s League of Stratford.
The Family, Friends and Neighbors program reaches out to Stratford neighbors who provide child care in their homes for young children, including grandparents and home-based day-cares. Funding is provided by the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. The program offers a lending library of learning bags, ongoing provider outreach and support by a certified parent educator; a home visiting program focusing on child development information; and monthly provider/child activity sessions held at Parents’ Place.
This year, several of the providers were introduced to Connecticut’s Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS). The CT ELDS are statements of what children from birth to age 5 should know and be able to do across the earliest years of development. By introducing these standards to child care providers, it helps them to think about activities they can incorporate into their daily routines to promote development and learning.
Monica Larzaro, a Stratford home-based child care provider states that with the help of Stratford Parents’ Place, and learning more about the CT ELDS, she has been able to “create a rich educational environment for her students, which foster their desire to explore, take risks and ultimately learn.”
Many of the providers state that it is the ongoing support and connection to Migda Carrero, parent educator who oversees the program, that has been the biggest benefit for them.
“Having access to a resource that I can call anytime to come out and help me brainstorm ideas for things such as how to manage a child’s behavior is so helpful,” said one participant in the program.
Stratford Parents’ Place is at Stratford Academy/Johnson House, 719 Birdseye St.. All programs and services are for Stratford residents.