Rahway, NJ, October 08, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- The YMCA of Eastern Union County, Rahway Branch has been selected to pilot an early learning program to enhance the learning experiences of young children in informal child care settings. The Early Learning Readiness Program for Informal Family, Friend and Neighbor Caregivers is a national initiative through YMCA of the USA, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to improve school readiness among children.
For many low-income and newcomer/immigrants, a family member, friend or neighbor is the most common source of child care. According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, children 5 years old and under were more likely to be cared for by a relative (42 percent) than by a nonrelative (33 percent), while 12 percent were regularly cared for by both, and 39 percent had no regular child care arrangement.
While family, friends and neighbors may provide safe and caring environments, these types of caregivers are often not trained in child development. The YMCA’s Early Learning Readiness Program provides caregivers with the program elements, support and tools needed to enhance their role in children’s cognitive and emotional development.
“At the YMCA of Eastern Union County, we work every day to provide kids the best possible chance to learn and reach their full potential,” said Gerry Gessie, Branch Executive, Rahway Branch. “This new Early Learning Readiness Program will give us the opportunity to serve the large number of infants, toddlers and preschoolers being cared for by informal family, friend and neighbor caregivers.”
The Y’s Early Learning Readiness Program provides a preschool-like experience through planned learning centers that focus on supporting and developing the skills and confidence of caregivers, while improving school readiness among children. The program model includes biweekly meetings throughout the school year for both the caregivers and children at neighborhood locations such as Ys, community centers, libraries, schools and places of worship. Y staff and volunteers share information to help caregivers build their knowledge about how children learn and experience activities simple enough to be replicated at home.
The YMCA of Eastern Union County, Rahway Branch is one of 19 YMCAs selected to pilot the Early Learning Readiness Program. The program is scheduled to begin the week of September 15 and will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 1731 Church Street, Rahway. Classes will be from 10 am – 12 pm on Monday and Wednesday (bilingual) and Tuesday and Thursday (English). The Early Learning Readiness program is free to the community.
For more information, please contact Michael Johnson a email@example.com, 908-249-4809, or visit us at www.ymcaeuc.org.
About the YMCA of Eastern Union County: The YMCA of Eastern Union County is a not-for-profit community service membership organization working to meet the health and social service needs of the children, men and women. Committed to our mission of building healthy lives through programs that strengthen spirits, minds and bodies for people of all ages, religions and cultures, the YMCA serves over 15,000 youth, teens, adults, families and seniors through four branches located in Elizabeth, Union (Five Points) and Rahway. All of our programs are tools the YMCA uses to achieve its vision of strengthening the foundations of community and to reinforce the YMCA’s core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility. Visit our website www.ymcaeuc.org.
About the Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. wkkf.org.
 Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011, U.S. Census Bureau, Issued April 2013: http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-135.pdf