Early Childhood Programs
“When we accept seriously the idea that children and their care are the most important clue to future possibilities and real values, we will be on a new road to civilization of a higher order.” – Helen Maley, ECP Founder
It was that foresight and conviction that served as Helen Maley’s vision to provide an oasis for Vineyard children and families. Today, we know it as the Early Childhood Program. Established in 1972, ECP’s mission to support the growth and development of children and their families by providing parenting education, quality child care, parent/child activities, and individualized family support services, now reaches out to over 1,100 families each year. The components of ECP are:
- Child Care Center
Provides care for children ages 3 months through 5 years. Located on the MVCS campus, the center is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children which recognizes high quality child care programs.
- MV Family Center
Provides education and support to parents of children prenatal/pre-adoptive through 8 years old. Services include: playgroups; parenting and child development information through classes and support groups; family activities; activities to promote family literacy; parent involvement and leadership activities; concrete services in times of need; family visits (home or elsewhere); access to health and developmental screenings; a swap shop of equipment and clothing for young children; a lending library of books and education materials; and referrals to other Island resources. The MV Family Center also provides support to providers of young children through individual consultation and group collaborations.
- Head Start
Offers a comprehensive, home-based preschool program for families with children 3-5 years of age. Believing that parents are the child’s most important teacher, staff and parents work in partnership to promote the child’s growth and development. The program includes: weekly home visits; parent/child socializations; parent education group; health screenings; family activities; parent involvement and leadership activities; and activity vouchers for community offerings. There is no fee for the program. Eligibility is based on income and/or special need.
Debbie Milne, Program Director
Helpful Phone Numbers
Emergency on Island (instead of 911): 508-693-1212
Poison Helpline: 1-800-222-1222
Early Childhood Coordinator at MV Public Schools, Alecia Barnes: 508-693-2007 ext 26