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:

9 month old baby reading picture book.

Early Learning Center (ELC)

Located on LSUHSC Human Development Center’s campus, the ELC is high-quality, inclusive early care and education for infants and toddlers.

  • The ELC is preparing to open a second classroom soon.
  • ELC Director Kisha Petty, M.Ed. is working with the OT Dept to set up field experiences for students this month.
Tablet with online lesson planning next to strategy guide print out.

Inclusive Practices in Early Childhood (IPEC)

Inclusive Practices in Early childhood program (IPEC) offers early childhood services to providers who want to effectively include children with disabilities. Our services are available to all early childhood providers and families.

  • Disability Support Coordinator Kelly Sommers, BS is piloting a new online system supporting developmental screening of 600 children in City Seats and Early Head Start programs
EHS-CCP teacher reading with toddler on her lap while another toddle holds book up to show the camera what she's reading.

Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP)

The Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) is a federally funded program that helps families of children ages birth to three (3) years old prepare for school and promote children’s development.

  • ERSEA Specialist Halltonya Kelly, MSW, RSW is working with the Dept of Education to identify working families who are struggling to get out of poverty to get them dually enrolled in EHS and CCAP
  • Education Specialists Anjel Magee, M.Ed. and Jaunte’ Baines, M.Ed. are developing monthly professional development and providing on-site technical assistance for over 50 teachers
  • Health Specialist Courtney Bissonnette, MSN is providing training opportunities for LSU Nursing students to conduct sensory screenings and support caregiver wellness at our partner sites
  • Family Engagement Specialist Brandy Brooks, MSW, RSW is spearheading multiple parent engagement initiatives
    • Collaborating with TrainingGrounds to provide effective parent learning opportunities including understanding child development, supporting breastfeeding, coping with a new baby
    • Partnering with the Center for Early Learning and Literacy to  support reading at home and build home libraries for our EHS families
    • Launching a web-based parent engagement program (Learning Genie) with 210 families
Girl playing in toy bin.

Outreach and Advocacy

  • HDC is working monthly with the City Task Force to develop a plan for spending the new millage funds to develop early childhood infrastructure (expanding workforce and facilities) and create an additional 1,000 publicly funded seats for children birth to 3 years by next school year.
  • HDC was involved in the development and passage of the new Early Learning Development Standards passed by BESE at the end of August .