DEARBORN, Michigan – Starfish Family Services, in partnership with ACCESS – Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services – is now offering free trainings for caregivers of young children on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The complimentary program, a part of the Early Learning Community, a Great Start Regional Care Resource Center, provides informal and professional childcare providers with resources and skills to help them provide the best possible care for young children and prepare them for a successful start to school.
Parents of young children who are unable to provide formal childcare and development programs often use nontraditional childcare providers while they work – a relative, neighbor or friend. This program provides training that assures anyone who is caring for young children provides the same vital learning experiences the child needs to begin kindergarten prepared for success. Anyone who cares for children, including grandparents, neighbors, friends, parents and professional childcare providers is invited to attend the sessions.
All sessions are conducted in Arabic and include trainings on a wide range of topics such as learning through play, preschool development, schedules and routines, reading, math, backyard science and conflict resolution. The courses are free and typically have about 15 to 20 people per class. Additionally, complimentary childcare is provided at each session.
“Generally parent materials are printed in English and Spanish,” said Kristen Chateau, Early Learning Communities Supervisor at Starfish Family Services. “This program is unique because it was designed especially for those who speak Arabic. We wanted to reach out to parents in the Dearborn area and offer resources in their native language to provide the skills and resources to ensure that all local children are prepared for kindergarten.”
Another benefit of attending the sessions, Starfish offers an incentive program that allows attendees to earn points, certifications and other rewards for participating. The points can be redeemed for gift cards to various local retailers or professional development opportunities to help advance childcare skills and quality.
“We saw a need within the Dearborn community for educational parenting courses and together with ACCESS we provide for that need,” said Ann Kalass, CEO of Starfish Family Services. “The courses provide critical information for parents on best practices for discipline, education, socialization and play to ensure children are prepared and ready to learn for the next phase of their education.”
Sessions take place at ACCESS located at 2651 Saulino Court in Dearborn. For more information call 313.842.1924.
Founded in 1963, Starfish Family Services is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by creating family success. Based in Inkster, Mich., Starfish serves vulnerable children and families throughout metropolitan Detroit, providing early childhood and parenting programs, after school programs, children’s mental health services, and emergency shelter to teens and youth in crisis. Each year, Starfish helps more than 9,000 individuals, children and families.