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Champlain Valley Head Start offers virtual program

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 8:34 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 6:22 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Providing in-home educational opportunities for children from low-income families is what Champlain Valley Head Start is all about, but due to COVID-19, they’ve had to adjust their basic models.

This school year, in-home education will be offered virtually once a week.

Services are for students from birth to 5 years old in families seeking early education options.

Their typical weekly in-home visits will be accessed via Zoom and materials for students and families to use will be delivered once every month.

Their goal is to create an educational approach tailored to the family’s needs and provide other services like health and wellness, family support and support for kids with special needs.

Before the school year, they were beginning to send out iPads to families lacking the technology to connect virtually.

Now, they are exploring options to not only get the hardware to connect but the connectivity services itself.

They are also exploring options to offer technology for those lacking resources and internet access.

“It’s a two-generational program. So, Head Start focuses both on the development of the child and the support and stability and well-being of the family. In addition to early education, we also provide coordination around children’s health service," said Paul Berhman, the program director.

Behrman says taking an individualized approach can really show some benefits.

“I think it’s just particularly important to have the connectivity, the connection, the relationships, and to have continuity in terms of early care and education for young children. Home visiting, I think, is really an ideal fit for particular children and families. Some children may really require a greater level of individualized service," said Behrman.

Watch the video below to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full interview with Paul Behrman on what else is changing due to the pandemic.

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