This month, we are proud to highlight our partnership with Child Start in Wichita, Kansas. Child Start offers one of the largest Early Head Start programs in the state. Since 1958 they have been serving families in need in Wichita and its surrounding communities. They serve 600 children ages 0-5 throughout nine Head Start centers in south-central Kansas.
Child Start is far more than a childcare provider. They are true family advocates. In 1990, they partnered with fourteen other Kansas agencies to create a statewide Child Care Resource & Referral network that helps parents find childcare and works to improve the quality of all forms of childcare. In 1995, they were chosen to help pilot the new Early Head Start program, serving pregnant women and children ages 0-3. In 2011, Child Start achieved the Quality Assurance credential from Child Care Aware of America for its services to parents and childcare providers. In addition to serving children and families, they are a hub of training and resources for childcare providers in Sedgwick, Butler, Cowley, Harvey, and Sumner Counties, an area with 675,000 residents.
One of the aspects of the organization that sets them apart is the number of community partnerships they hold. They strive to be the total solution for parents with pre-K children. Here are just a few examples:
Healthy Babies is a free educational program for prenatal and parenting families (especially first-time moms, teen moms, and minority moms). Registered nurses and community liaisons provide education and family support through home and office visits.
Wichita Family Crisis Center
Wichita Family Crisis Center (WFCC), provides comprehensive services for domestic violence and sexual exploitation victims. WFCC’s mission is “to eliminate domestic violence in our community by supporting survivors through shelter, education, and advocacy.”
Center of Hope
Center of Hope provides a safety net of organizations to families in danger of homelessness. Through a variety of services such as emergency rent and utilities, life skills counseling services, and budget counseling, 100% of participants are prevented from becoming homeless in the next 30 days.
Additional Partners Include:
- Kansas Department for Children and Families
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center
- Kansas School for Effective Learning (KANSEL)
- Child Advocacy Center
- Kansas Children’s Service League
- WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) Program
Child Start hosts myriad events year-round for the healthy betterment of families. These include Camp GWC, Mini Learning Experiences, Green Eggs & Ham, Staff Health Fair, and Hats & Mittens.
This month, Child Start held their annual Family Jam Fest at the Capitol Federal Amphitheater in Andover, Kansas. This is a family-friendly, mini music festival for families with young children featuring storytellers, clowns, entertainers, musical acts, and food trucks. In addition to local businesses, their partners obtain booths to promote the care and education of children from the womb to age five.
You can learn more about their great work at https://childstart.org/. Please join us in celebrating the outstanding work that Child Start has been accomplishing for over 50 years!