Santa Maria provides multiple early childhood services in an effort to help children and guardians overcome the barriers that limit their ability to change their circumstances and to find the means toward improved education. Santa Maria was chosen as the lead agency by the Place Matters initiative in the area of Early Childhood/Youth Development programming in Price Hill.
The Consortium for Resilient Young Children brings together the best of Early Childhood and Mental Health practices. Historically, these two disciplines have operated without integration. The Consortium promotes best practices related to quality child care and access to children’s mental health services.
Santa Maria has adopted the Every Child Succeeds® program, which offers first-time mothers and their families support to ensure an optimal start for their children. Every Child Succeeds is a collaborative, evidence-based home-visitation program that includes 9 provider agencies whose social workers, child development specialists and nurses provide services for first-time, at-risk mothers on a regular basis from the time of pregnancy until the child’s third birthday and is designed to optimize child development and promote a variety of positive outcomes.
Santa Maria’s Family Child Care Provider Training Program collaborates with 4C For Children to provide on-going training to currently certified family child-care providers. Monthly trainings are offered to Family Child Care providers and include the following topics: “Working with Special Needs,” “Every Child Has Potential,” “Communication Is Critical,” and “Developing Positive Self-Esteem In Children. In addition, 20 providers are offered more intensive services. This core group receives home visits from the Santa Maria program coordinator, who gives encouragement and guidance on implementing information gained from trainings into the home child-care business, along with other child development and professional development support.
Santa Maria’s Promoting Our Preschoolers program prepares children for kindergarten and continued success in school through support from parents, caregivers and grandparents by providing home-based services to families and their preschool-aged children, focusing on early child development. The home visits include developmental screens, parent support and education, advocacy and referrals for Price Hill’s children and their families, closing the gap in preparing the children for kindergarten.
Promoting Resilient Children is a collaboration of mental health and early care and education specialists who provide services to early childhood centers through consultation, coaching and training to promote the social and emotional well being of children before they enter kindergarten. The goal of this program is to increase the effectiveness of early childhood staff in ensuring the social and emotional development of pre-kindergarten children.
The Stable Families initiative targets neighborhoods and schools with high student mobility rates. It creates long-lasting change by addressing and resolving the issues that push families to the brink of homelessness. Each participating family receives individual attention and guidance from a case manager who provides: Family counseling and advocacy for the family; Assistance in negotiations with landlords and other entities to help families remain in their homes; Help in locating resources for health care, afterschool programs and programs for children with special needs; Short-term financial support for rent, transportation, job training and utility bills; and Job training and household budgeting assistance, connections to resources and supports to prevent future crises
Strengthening Families is a research-informed practice designed to prevent child abuse and neglect and build healthy families through coaching and training for child care programs and Parent Cafés for parents.The goal of Strengthening Families is to incorporate five protective factors into families that build parental resilience and ensure the wellness of children. The five protective factors are: parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, and social and emotional competence of children
Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) is a Santa Maria adopted family-focused kindergarten-readiness program that works collaboratively with families, schools, and the community. Children receive educational supplies and participate in-home or group-based learning opportunities in an effort to increase the child’s success in school and life. SPARK works with families to help get their children ready for kindergarten by building reading, language and social skills, and seeks to create a seamless transition into school for preschool-age children while ensuring that barriers to school readiness are removed.
Healthy Homes Block by Block has been building a neighborhood-based network of community members who perform door-to-door personal outreach to support the needs and hopes of households with children under the age of six and pregnant women. Healthy Homes is transforming how the health and social needs of the most vulnerable people in the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati are met. Residents of Price Hill experience health, education, and social hardships. Mothers are less likely to receive full prenatal care, infants are at much higher risk for prematurity and infant mortality, children are much more likely to arrive at kindergarten not ready to learn, and close to half of the youth do not graduate from high school with their class.