Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

El Dorado County Office of Education: Supporting families

The El Dorado County Office of Education recognizes the role of the family as the first and primary educator of their children. Research reveals that positive parent/child and family relationships have a major influence on children’s achievement in school and throughout life. The Office of Education supports and strengthens families by providing comprehensive educational services in which parents play an integral role. Programs promote parent involvement and develop partnerships with community agencies and organizations which are essential to positive family/child outcomes and children’s academic success. Programs provide a variety of services to children birth through eighth grade.

The El Dorado County Office of Education Child Development Programs and Services department provides programs for children birth to age 5 and their families, assuring them the best start possible before entering kindergarten. Support services are also provided to early care and education providers in the community. Programs include State Preschool, Head Start, Early Head Start, the Teen Parenting Program, Together We Grow, High 5 for Quality and CARES Plus. These programs are funded by a variety of sources including: the California Department of Education, Child Development Division, First 5 CA, First 5 El Dorado, parent fees and the Department of Health and Human Services through the Federal Government. Each program provides comprehensive early care and education services. Programs recognize that social, emotional, cognitive and physical development are all interrelated within the child’s daily experiences. A strong foundation in the early years assists children with later success in school and life. Program enrollment also includes children identified with special needs.

The El Dorado County Office of Education Charter Extended Day program, in cooperation with local schools, offers on-campus supervised and enriched child care programs before, during and after school, Monday through Friday. The program is available to kindergarten through eighth-grade children at 22 school sites in El Dorado County. The instructors provide a variety of enriching and creative age-appropriate activities, including academic and tutorial assistance and organized playground activities. Extended Day services are offered year-round and on all staff development days, minimum days and selected holidays with sufficient enrollment.

The El Dorado Early Care and Education Planning Council is a public-private partnership of business, education, community and government whose mission is to serve as the focal point for the planning and development of accessible, affordable, quality early care and education programs for children and families in El Dorado County. Our current projects include the Workforce Development-CARES Plus, High 5 for Quality, and Needs Assessment Committees. The council provides leadership for the High 5 for Quality – Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, our local Quality Rating and Improvement System and administers the CARES Plus Professional Development program. El Dorado County early care and education programs receive incentives and supports for professional development, training and unit bearing coursework towards a degree or Child Development Permit. We also partner with California State University, Sacramento to offer a local Bachelor’s Degree program in Early Development, Care and Education for working professionals. These programs increase teacher retention and professional development which directly impacts the care and education children receive. For more information, call Elizabeth Blakemore at 530-295-2312.

The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is comprised of parents of children with special needs and agency representatives. They meet the third Monday of every month and provide support, information, training and advocacy for parents of children with special needs. Please contact Dubravka Tomazin, program liaison, for more information at 530-295-2463.

For more information on programs offered through the Office of Education please stop by our booth at Kids’ Expo or contact the El Dorado County Office of Education, Child Development Programs and Services at 530-295-2270 or 530-295-2276; Charter Extended Day at 530-295-2298 or 530-295-2268; or the Special Services Department, Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) at 530-295-2289.

Special to the Democrat

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