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Early Head Start encourages families to socialize and learn about their community. The purpose of socialization experiences for infants and toddlers, as described in the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS),  is to support child development by strengthening parent-child relationships. Socialization builds on the experiences and goals that are addressed during home visits, as well as attends to the needs of both children and parents.

In addition to one-on-one home visits with each child and family, twice a month an Early Head Start Family Partner brings together small groups of families for child development experiences, parenting education, and opportunities to socialize and become friends with other families.

Socialization groups help families better understand child development and school readiness. They offer structured and unstructured learning experiences for both children and parents and are designed to facilitate the development of emotional security through trusting relationships with a limited number of consistent and familiar people.

Bradford Tioga Head Start, Inc.’s Early Head Start program offers two socializations each month to children and families enrolled in the program. Elkland Family Partner, Robin Flynn recently held a Family Playgroup (Socialization) at the Knoxville Library. During Playgroup families were encouraged to socialize and play together. They shared stories, played with puzzles and discussed the importance of Preventative Medical and Oral Health Care to families.

When asked why she holds playgroups at the library, Robin states “The library offers many family fun activities and encourages children to be curious and learn – just like Early Head Start!”

Photo Caption:        

Children enrolled in Elkland Early Head Start, their parents and Elkland Early Head Start Family Partner, Robin Flynn work on a wooden puzzle as part of a recent Family Playgroup at the Knoxville Library.