The first few years of a child’s life are critical; bonds they develop and early experiences form the basis of emotional, social, physical and cognitive development. Children watch and learn from their parents, who are their first teachers. Some parents need support with this new role; to nurture their children through this essential early growth and development.
E4C early education programs support children and families during these years. We connect parents to local resources and help them build inner strength and confidence. It is about shedding the feeling of not being alone and finding a community of support.
“I came from another country and I did not know the community or what was available.” Sonia’s three-year old son Ali had just been diagnosed with autism. She was upset, worried about his future and felt overwhelmed.
Sonia found E4C Early Head Start for her son and she joined the parent group. She met with the support worker who helps families in the Early Head Start program, and together they began working through Sonia’s challenges.
“Sometimes we have stuff that we don’t want to share with our families and sometimes we want to share it with friends. This is a place for that. It’s about ways to learn how to enjoy our lives. We all come from different cultures and we share different things, like how we handle our kids, prepare meals and how important play is in our kids’ lives.”
”Ali’s made friends at Head Start, and he’s learned so much. Good habits that he’s bringing home, like helping clean up after our meals. Head Start is so good for him, all the staff people are so patient.”
“I know I’m in the right place,” says Sonia. “Since I’ve been a part of E4C, I feel more familiar with the resources in Edmonton and because of that I feel more confident.”
She and her family are learning more about autism and how to help Ali prepare for his future. His positive early experiences at home and in the world are setting him up for success.