Strong Foundations for Young Children

Strong Foundations for Young Children

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Strong Foundations for Young Children (SFYC, formerly Success By Six Easthampton) provides free support for families of infants, toddlers and preschoolers who reside in Easthampton and Ware.  SFYC’s goal is to provide support to parents to enhance their children’s social and emotional development.  In addition to individual services the program has a strong networking component to bring together other providers of services to this group of families through the Easthampton Early Childhood Council (e2c2) and the Quaboag Community Council.  The third component of the project is data collection in order to compare the impact of these services within and between the two communities.

The program is a cooperative effort between the Collaborative for Educational Services which provides Early Childhood Mental Health Specialists and Berkshire Children and Families which provides Parent Aides.  The type and quantity of services is tailored to the individual needs of each child and family.  It typically includes home visits.  Priority is given to children who are not enrolled in child care, early intervention, special education or other services.  However the only firm eligibility requirements are age and residence.

Outreach to elicit referrals (with parent consent) uses existing networks and includes contacts in the community with pediatricians, children’s librarians, etc. Sarah Lusardi, IECMH Clinical Supervisor at the Collaborative, coordinates all referrals and intakes. Referrals for Parent Aides should be made to Gail Fries at Berkshire Children and Families for families requesting more intensive support.

Through interviews, parents are asked to provide information on their family’s needs, their views of their child’s behavior and to set goals. These will be reviewed at least every six months and document changes in these areas.  At age-determined intervals, parents use the Ages and Stages Questionnaire—Social Emotional to document changes in their children’s social/emotional development.  For children who are enrolled in child care or preschool programs, teachers are asked to evaluate changes in their own capacity to meet the needs of children with behavioral challenges.  The DECA (Devereux Early Childhood Assessment) will be the basis for this evaluation.

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For more information, contact: 
Director of Early Childhood
413.586.4900 x5561