Early Childhood

New school year update with HDC’s Early Childhood Initiatives

The Early Childhood (EC) initiatives at the Human Development Center are hard at work bringing quality, inclusive education to early learning centers in New Orleans. Here’s a quick update from the three EC projects:

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HDC Spotlight: Germaine Collins, BA

Germaine Collins pictured next to text that says "Spotlight" and the Human Development Center logo.

Germaine Collins is a teacher in the Human Development Center’s Early Learning Center (ELC). Located on the first floor of the Human Development Center (HDC) building, the ELC provides high-quality, inclusive early care and education for infants and toddlers. Our teachers are highly qualified professionals who are trained to implement a developmentally appropriate, evidence-based curriculum for infants and toddlers, including those with disabilities and special health care needs.

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IPEC’s Evidence Based Practices

Toddler with disability puts rings on stakcing toy with help of teacher.

The Human Development Center’s Early Childhood (EC) initiatives are leading by example, and aim to bring Early Childhood Evidence-Based Practices statewide.

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HDC Spotlight: Courtney Bissonnette, RN, MSN

Ms. Courtney Bissonnette, RN, MSN recently began working at the Human Development Center (HDC) as a Health Specialist for HDC’s Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) project and a member of the core faculty of the Louisiana Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program. Before joining HDC as a Registered Nurse (RN) and Health Specialist, Courtney worked as an acute care pediatric nurse on pediatric medical surgical units for five-years. She also spent a year at a pediatric primary care clinic as a pediatric triage nurse. Courtney left the hospital setting and earned a Master of Science in Nursing Education, while simultaneously working full-time as a nurse at a childcare center that served young children with special needs. Courtney has a personal relationship with developmental disabilities. She is the mother of a child with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Courtney’s professional training and life experiences make her uniquely able to notice small details that can impact a family or child’s health, wellness, and quality of life. Courtney uses this lens in her daily work to make sure that faculty, staff, teachers, families and children possess the wellness tools they need to reach their full potential.

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2021-22 Early Head Start seats available

Young boy sits on slide at playground.

Greetings from LSUHSC Early Head Start Child Care Partnership! We are a federally funded program that helps families of children ages birth to three (3) years old prepare for school and promote children’s development. As we continue to prepare for the current 2021-2022 school year, seats are available at our Early Head Start partner sites. Click the button below to apply and scroll down to see the required documents for application.

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HDC Spotlight: Maria Blanco, M.Ed.

Maria Blanco, M.Ed. has worked at HDC for 15-years. She designs projects that increase access to quality early learning experiences for young children and families; she supports early childhood staff to implement projects with a high level of excellence; and she represents HDC’s interests, and those of children and families, on state and local policymaking bodies. Maria is currently the Director for the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) and the Director for HDC’s newest program, Inclusive Practices in Early Childhood (IPEC).

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Early Childhood Initiatives Update

The Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grant was renewed for an additional 5 years ($17M).  The program has expanded to 8 locations across the city. EHS-CCP provides comprehensive child development services to 210 at risk infants and toddlers and their families.

HDC also has a new contract with the Developmental Disabilities Council to provide training for EarlySteps providers (Louisiana’s Part C-early intervention program) and develop a community of practice for 70 early interventionists in Lafayette and Shreveport.

HDC’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Program

HDC’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Program has been extended for another five years. EHS-CCP provides free, high quality and comprehensive Early Head Start center-based child development services for more than 200 children from birth to three and their families. HDC works with community childcare agencies to educate children, and support families while also providing training, technical assistance, and resources to partner agencies and their staff. More information about the program can be found at the website for EHS-CCP.