The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) received the grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services totaling $8.3 million dollars per year for five years. DHR and Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc. entered into agreement to implement the EHS-CC Partnership program for twenty-four (24) infants and toddlers in Tuscaloosa and Fayette Counties. The children attend Tender Loving Care Child Edu-care Center of Tuscaloosa and Tiny Tots Child Development Center of Fayette.
"Research shows the first three years are critical for brain development, and Early Head Start provides high-quality early care and learning opportunities for our most vulnerable young children," said Mark Greenberg, the acting assistant secretary for HHS' Administration for Children and Families.
CSP’s EHS-CC Partnership program provides comprehensive services that benefit children, families, and teachers, including:
- health, developmental and behavioral screenings
- higher health, safety and nutrition standards
- increased professional development opportunities for teachers
- increased parent engagement opportunities
The Early Head Start program requires significant support from the community, including matching funds, much of which is delivered in-kind. The programs work most effectively when local businesses and community organizations work together to support these most vulnerable children, the officials said.
Public and private entities throughout Tuscaloosa and Fayette Counties are invited to embrace this new partnership program and to "be part of the solution for early childhood care and education in Alabama."