NLMUSD expanding Head Start preschool to include pregnant mothers

NORWALK – Norwalk-La Mirada is expanding its early childhood education program to include a home-based service for up to 103 families, including pregnant mothers and children from newborns to age 3, teaching parents how to maximize their children’s development. The new Early Head Start Home-Based Program will run from this July through June 2016.

“This program acknowledges the diverse needs of our families and offers curriculum that is supportive but also very hands-on,” Norwalk-La Mirada Board President Jesse Urquidi said. “By offering Early Head Start services, we can continue to support the incredibly important role a parent can play in their young child’s development.

Early Head Start home visitors will meet with parents and children once a week and collaboratively plan activities that encourage positive parent-child interaction. All participants will visit Norwalk-La Mirada’s Ramona Head Start location twice a month to participate in small group discussions.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer this additional form of outreach and education to the Norwalk-La Mirada community,” said Laurel Parker, Norwalk-La Mirada Pre-school Programs Director. “We hope parents sign up to participate in this new opportunity.”

Norwalk-La Mirada Preschool Program’s Head Start Program, now celebrating its 49th year, secured funding for the Home-Based Program through recognition from the Los Angeles County Office of Education as a high-performing Head Start agency.

Introduction of the Home-Based Program complements NLMUSD’s existing Preschool Program, which is currently accepting enrollment applications for the 2015-16 school year. The Preschool Program offers high-quality preschool classes for children age 3 to 5 that encourage learning through active, hands-on lessons related to a theme, such as buildings, trees and recycling.

Field trips to extend learning are planned at least twice a year, and children are exposed to music presentations and the latest technology.

“Norwalk-La Mirada’s Head Start Program helps families build relationships that support family well-being and solid foundational development,” Norwalk-La Mirada Interim Superintendent Ginger Shattuck said. “The introduction of the Home-Based Program will promote school readiness of our youngest residents and enhance their cognitive, social and emotional development.”

Regular Head Start classes will run from Aug. 5 to mid-June 2016. The program will operate 16 classes beginning in August, with the remaining 39 classes beginning the first week in September. At most pre-school sites, half-day classes run from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and from noon to 3:30 p.m.; full-day classes run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To apply, parents may visit any Norwalk-La Mirada preschool.

Preschool locations are: Chavez Elementary, DD Johnston Elementary, Foster Road Elementary, Gallatin Center at Cornerstone Church in Downey, Glazier Elementary, Huerta School, Nuffer Elementary, New River Elementary, Paddison Elementary, Ramona Preschool and Sanchez Elementary.

Norwalk-La Mirada’s classes are run through Head Start, California State Preschool and Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) and most preschool services offered are free to families who qualify by income level or by the age of the attending child. Two LAUP classes at Foster Road Elementary require a monthly parent investment fee.



Published: May 21, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 06