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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 Head Start helping early learners

Falcon School District 49ís Community Partnership for Child Development Head Start has opened another location at Falcon Elementary School. Evans International Elementary School is the cite of the first location. The goal of the CPCD is to provide educational services to families in need.ìWe are really looking to serve the most vulnerable families ó those who canít pay for preschool or daycare,î said Josh Meuth Aldredge, outreach coordinator.ìWe are here as a resource to the community; and, because we are nonprofit and funded by outside sources; our primary interest is getting families the services they need. We canít help them with homelessness or putting food on the table, but our people are here to put them in touch with the resources that can help.îAldredge said three different programs are available to families in El Paso County: Early Head Start, Head Start and the Colorado Preschool Program.ìEarly Head Start is available to women who are pregnant and children ages birth to 3,î he said. Head Start provides early childhood education and support to lower income families with children ages 3 to 5, Aldredge said. ìBy providing an educational head start, you can open a lot of doors for academic success and career success, and mitigate some of the problems with poverty in the family,î he said. Both programs are federally funded, Aldredge said.The Colorado Preschool Program is similar to Head Start and also available to children ages 3 to 5. The CPP program receives funds from the federal government, the state and private entities; and income requirements are not as strict as Head Start. ìEven if you think you wonít qualify for Head Start, you may qualify for the CPP, so you should just apply anyway,î Aldredge said.According to the CPCD website, Head Start and Early Head Start currently serve more than 1,200 children and their families in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas, including Falcon; CPP serves 788 children and their families.All CPCD programs are part-time, with Head Start and CPP available four days a week for three or four hours; Early Head Start is available two days a week for four hours. ìWe feel this gives kids plenty of time for socialization, but also gives their parents time with them as well,î Aldredge said. ìWe have a creative curriculum that is play based and focuses on building social and emotional skills ó the skills critical for cooperation and expressing feelings.îGene Chavez, CPCD enrollment supervisor, said they opened a new location to be able to serve as many families as possible on the east side of D 49. ìAll our locations receive the same thing,î Chavez said. ìWe provide a creative curriculum for every classroom and comprehensive services for wherever you are, but this provides a more convenient location than driving into town.îIn addition to the main programs, CPCD offers side programs for children and their families on a wait list for CPCD, Chavez said. ìAs you are waiting to be put into a classroom, we offer other options for families like literacy, family literacy, CPR and First Aid,î he said. ìThere are so many benefits in the classes families can take while they are waiting; and, of course, the classes once their child gets placed.îAnyone interested in using the services provided by CPCD should apply. ìThe bottom line is that, over the three programs we have, we can probably help you through one program or another,î Chavez said.There is no enrollment window for any of the CPCD programs so parents can contact the organization any time, Aldredge said.For more information, visit: http://cpcd.org.

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