Early Education Center students enjoying play time
Our decades-long emphasis on reaching our children at the youngest age possible continued this past year as we refocused our early education programs. We built on our partnership with Head Start, allowing us to provide more comprehensive services for our children and families. We consolidated the number of preschool sites we operate from eight to six as part of an agency-wide effort to improve operating efficiency, a central part of the strategic plan.
We raised Early Education teacher salaries to better recruit and retain teaching talent. We continued to provide our teachers with a range of supports to be able to be responsive to the socio-emotional aspects of learning for our children and families.
We also used the support of a HUD grant to complete a much needed expansion of The Tina and Rick J. Caruso Early Education Center, and we implemented new technology to manage our child assessments this past year allowing us to more efficiently and accurately complete observations and begin any intervention needed. Our Head Start program participated in a Federal Review that focused on the Safe Environments, Fiscal, and ERSEA (Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, Attendance) components of our program. Our team effort resulted in an outstanding review with no findings.
Today, we serve nearly 500 children from infancy through age five at our preschools and we are pleased to report our efforts were rewarded over the last year. We saw solid progress across all developmental domains with 75-80% of all our preschool children meeting or exceeding their developmental expectations.