Early Childhood Education
WestCOP Early Childhood Education Centers are led by a Center Director and our classrooms are staffed by skilled and trained teachers. Developmental Specialists, Social Workers, Health Specialists/Nurses, Education Coordinators, and Family Workers all serve the needs of each child and family.
All Head Start, Early Head Start, and Universal Pre-Kindergarten Early Childhood Education programs are available to income-eligible children and their families living in Westchester and Putnam counties. Some of our centers accept DSS. WestCOP’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Expansion program is funded to serve three and four-year-old preschoolers residing in the cities and towns with which WestCOP has partnered to offer these services.
Throughout the year our centers enjoy the help of volunteers including foster grandparents, senior citizens, student teachers, high school and college students, and parents, all of whom make an important contribution to the classroom environment. We encourage and value the direct involvement of parents and community volunteers as an integral part of the program. Time, services, or goods can be donated. All are beneficial to the program, the children, the families, and the volunteers.
WESTCOP’S PHILOSOPHY – Entering kindergarten “ready to learn” goes far beyond a child’s IQ or ability to recite numbers and letters. It includes physical, cognitive, social, and emotional developmental readiness. Our programs are designed to meet each child’s emotional, social, health, and educational needs so they can enter kindergarten healthy and with self-confidence in their ability for higher learning and success.
For infants and toddlers in our Early Head Start programs, the foundations for learning are embedded in the daily interactions they have with caregivers at home and staff in our centers. The nurturing teachers in our classrooms help children develop the specific skills that prepare them for school and learning:
- Capacity to Communicate
For 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds in our Head Start/Pre-K programs, an integrated curriculum combines the five essential domains of school readiness to create positive outcomes:
- Cognition and General Knowledge
- Physical Development and Health
- Social and Emotional Development
- Language and Literacy
- Varied Approaches to Learning
WestCOP’s Early Childhood Program serves almost 2,000 income-eligible children and families within 21 Head Start and Early Head Start centers throughout Westchester and Putnam Counties. Each center offers several types of programs, which include:
- Part-Day or 2.5 Hour AM or PM sessions
- Part-Day or 3.5 Hour AM or PM sessions Head Start
- Part-Day 6 Hour Head Start
- Full-Day Childcare over 6 Hours
- Therapeutic Classrooms
- Universal Pre-Kindergarten
The Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive child development services for children from birth to five years, and focus on the goals of promoting social competence and school readiness for each child.
Because Head Start believes that parents and families are a child’s first and best teacher, partnerships with families are considered an important and integral part of the Head Start experience. Through these partnerships, parents are:
- Encouraged to become involved in all aspects of the Head Start program
- Empowered to become advocates for their children and themselves
- Inspired to pursue the goals they have identified
In addition to partnering with parents, WestCOP’s Head Start program actively collaborates with a wide range of community agencies. These collaborations serve to ensure that resources are available for the children and families as they progress towards their goals. We engage in extensive outreach and education among low-income families in the communities we serve. Our strategies are implemented – more specifically – through:
- Head Start and Early Head Start, federally authorized and funded preschool and early childhood education for low-income children ages birth to five in Westchester and Putnam Counties
- Babies Step Forward – Early Head Start Partnership Grant
- Pre-School Special Education, New York State approved special education, evaluation, therapy and integrated classroom programming for preschool children
- Universal Pre-Kindergarten, pre-kindergarten education
- Child Care, full-year and full-day classes.
- Adult Literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for both beginning and Intermediate students, particularly for parents of children attending Head Start
- Parent Groups, a means to give participating parents an opportunity for empowerment, self-governance and parenting education.
Full Day Care is provided in Mt Vernon, Greenburgh, Mt Kisco, Port Chester, Yonkers, Brewster, and Poughkeepsie.
Group Family Child Care is available in Elmsford, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Ossining, Peekskill, Port Chester, White Plains, and Yonkers.
(914) 592-5600, Option #3, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.