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School Ready

Early Head Start is instrumental in laying the foundation for very young children to become school ready and successful later in life.

When people refer to Early Head Start they may use the term free. But, the program, which United Way facilitates, is invaluable to parents like Franchesca Buchanan.

Early Head Start has been a game changer in the lives of her two children and she believes will be for her third child who is on the way.

“I have two children and am pregnant. A few years ago I wanted to go back to work and needed somewhere for my kids to go and I was told about Early Head

Start and I love it,” she said. Early Head Start programs aim to make a difference before children are even born and offer an educational environment that is far beyond kids’ play or a daycare without curriculum.

“The assumption is that because of such low income at home there won’t be the opportunities for children to have early educational services,” said

Margarette Derise of United Way of Acadiana, who facilitates the federally funded program locally. Early Head Start, however, ensures access for those who seek it.