Family Learning Intervention Program (FLIP)
For many years the Little Light House has offered monthly meetings through our Family Learning Intervention Program (FLIP). The purpose of these meetings is to provide resources and training for parents, develop social support and a time of fellowship. However, because the need has increased greatly, this program will be expanded to offer more time slots for training opportunities, as well as a variety of topic-specific and interactive learning opportunities. FLIP is designed to fill the gap while the family waits for placement in our Early Intervention (EI) Program or Developmental Center. Families are given tools and resources to aid their child in development and have the opportunity to ask our highly credentialed staff questions they may have in regards to their child’s education and therapy. For more information about FLIP, please contact email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Intervention Program (EI Program)
Did you know that by the age of three years old roughly 85 percent of the brain’s core structure will be formed? This means that for children with special needs early intervention is crucial. The Little Light House’s trend data shows that approximately 83 percent of the children placed on our waiting list are under three years at the time of placement, but sadly have to wait approximately 2 – 3 years before being offered enrollment.
As our renovation is complete, in order to meet this time sensitive demand, the Little Light House will be expanding our programs to offer an Early Intervention Program to reach more children at a much younger age. This will permit services during that crucial developmental window. Our EI Program will function as group classes with both the parent and child being led by a certified special education teacher and therapist. The parent is a key component of this program. We want to empower and provide them with resources and techniques to help their child reach appropriate developmental milestones based on the child’s ability. We will coach the parents as to how to best care for their child so that techniques used daily at the LLH to help our students achieve goals can be carried out in each child’s home.
Once operating funds are secured to hire the additional staff, there will be four classrooms with eight children accompanied by their parent as part of a 2 hour program twice a week per class. There will be morning and afternoon sessions each day Monday through Thursday.
Families enrolled in the EI Program will be highly encouraged to still attend FLIP.
Why is Early Intervention Soooo Important? By: Anne McCoy, Pediatric Occupational Therapist
At the Little Light House, we are delighted to soon begin providing additional services for our waiting list families designed to address a crucial need. Let me explain why we are pursuing early intervention and the great potential it holds for children with special needs.
Decades of rigorous research show that a child’s earliest experiences play a pivotal role in brain development.1 Even though positive changes can be made throughout our lives, the most vital period of brain development is in the earliest months. Because of these findings, there is nearly universal agreement among medical, educational, social and psychological experts regarding the importance of intervening as early as possible for children with special needs.
A newborn’s neurons have tentative connections which, through the child’s earliest experiences, will become hardwired connections responsible for the child’s major motor, cognitive, visual, language and emotional functioning. During this early time, the synapses between neurons are created at an astonishing rate. A child’s brain has twice as many synapses as an adult’s brain, attesting to the rapid learning and hard wiring taking place during the early years. By age three, roughly 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed!2
The Center on The Developing Child at Harvard University summarizes early intervention-research as follows:
- Neural circuits, which create the foundation for learning, behavior and health, are most flexible or “plastic” during the first three years of life.
- Stable relationships with caring and responsive adults, safe and supportive environments, and appropriate nutrition are key elements of healthy brain development.
- Early social/emotional development and physical health provide the foundation upon which cognitive and language skills develop.
At the Little Light House, we want to apply this important research in partnership with the amazing families of our students. Our goal is to provide the very best training, education and support possible. In this way, we hope to establish a solid foundation for the children to thrive now and in the future! That is why our renovation is so important too!
- The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC)
- State Early Childhood Policy Technical Assistance Network (SECPTA)
Are the funds raised for the renovations? Yes
How much will the renovation cost? $2.5M
Are the building plans complete? Yes
Will when construction begin? As early as May
When will it be open? Construction will be complete as early as September, as long as it starts in May.
How many additional children will you serve? It will depend on the operating funds. We have a 5 year financial roll-out plan to reach approximately 150 additional children and families. We will grow as fast as funding permit.
How quickly can waiting list families receive services? We are expanding FLIP training with more topic-focused presentations with more time slots to benefit all waiting list families immediately.
How many classrooms will be in the renovated space? We will have two developmental center classrooms and once fully operational (5 year plan), we will have 16 Early Intervention half-day programs housed in four classrooms.
How will the children come off the waiting list? For the developmental center, it will still be first come – first serve.
How will the children for the EI Program be selected? We will have more details to follow in the coming months and will contact waiting list families, at that time. We plan to launch a 6-month pilot program in the Fall of 2018 with 16 families.