Child Development Centers
Since 2002, SHIELDS’ Child Development Centers have provided comprehensive, culturally sensitive services for children and their parents. The primary goal of our Child Development Centers is to promote the healthy development, social and emotional well-being and school readiness of children through the provision of therapeutic and developmentally appropriate services.
SHIELDS’ Child Development Centers provide services to children 0-5 years of age and their parents who are enrolled in a SHIELDS program.
Located within the Genesis, Healthy Start, Eden, ACT, and Exodus programs at SHIELDS, our Child Development Centers provide developmental assessments, early education activities, case management, home visits, and early literacy skills. Parents are actively engaged in all aspects of the Center through Parenting Classes, Mommy, Daddy & Me, and Early Supervised Intervention.
Each Center at SHIELDS provides developmental assessments and evaluations for all children utilizing the Denver II and Ages and Stages Questionnaire. Developmentally appropriate Individual Education Plans are developed and implemented for each child. Children are in the Centers for a minimum of six hours per day, five days a week, during the course of their parent’s enrollment in treatment.
Children are divided into three groups for early education activities– infants, pre-toddlers and toddlers, based on their age and developmental stage. Structured lessons are provided daily, focusing on specific skill sets appropriate to each age group, with emphasis placed on development of gross and fine motor skills and social skill development.
Families with children in our Centers receive intensive case management services. Case managers provide client-centered activities that assist participants with addressing needs identified through individualized service plans and needs assessments. Case managers also provide regular home visits, assist with applications for benefit and entitlement programs, and provide linkage to services necessary to meet families’ auxiliary needs.
In-Home visits to all families are conducted a minimum of two times per month to ensure the knowledge gained in the program is transferred to the home environment. Additionally, an in-home literacy program is provided to all participants to encourage the on-going development of language skills and enhanced mother-child bonding.
Child development and parenting skills education groups are presented to mothers for the purpose of helping prepare our participants to care for and interact with their children. Mommy, Daddy and Me parent/child interaction classes and parenting education classes are each provided one time per week. Supervised Early Intervention is also incorporated into every mother’s schedule in order to allow her to be in the Center and practice parenting skills.
Accomplishments and Recognition
- Since September 2002, a total of 314 families have enrolled in the Child Development Program.
- A total of 436 children (95%) have received at least 1 developmental screening through our Centers. Overall, 85% of children received scores that fell within the normal range of development, and 15% of children were identified with potential delays and referred on for additional assessment and specialized services.
- More than 800 in-home parenting visits and 1000 center-based individual sessions have been conducted with parents by the child development workers and specialists in order to enhance parental ability to implement appropriate developmental activities and interventions.
- Mothers have consistently demonstrated an increase in knowledge in the area of child development and parenting skills as documented by pre- and post-test results: the average post-test score is 90% with an average increase in parental knowledge of 15%.
- Over 200 parents have received completion certificates for parenting and child development classes.
- Immunization rates among enrolled children averages 80%.
- Of the 264 infants born to mothers enrolled in the program over the past six years, less than 6% had positive toxicology screens at birth.