Littles to Leaders has a multi-faceted approach to ensuring families have access to community resources and education to promote early literacy. Resources include, but are not limited to: resources to address the social determinants of health, WIC, and home visiting programs.
First, we will engage pregnant women in Leon County during the third trimester. This touch will include information about early literacy and the Littles to Leaders Project. It will include a pre-survey tool to be completed prior to delivery. We will engage moms through partnerships with the local OBBYN providers.
Our second touch with families in Leon County will be at the hospital. There are approximately 2500 births in Leon County each year. All families will be offered in-person parent education prior to discharge through the Healthy Start Connect Family Partner at both hospitals. This education will include further information about Littles to Leaders and the importance of early literacy. Families will take a post survey prior to the discharge of baby. Upon completion of the survey, the family will receive a brain bag. The brain bag will include a children’s book. Access to book extension activities (though use of a QR code), rattle, teether, onesie, and community resource information including community organizations and resources to support them as they navigate parenthood. These include resources to address the social determinants of health: transportation, food, housing, employment, and education. Additionally, through the Connect Family Partner, infants who are high risk or families who would like additional support and resources will be referred to home visiting programs. Families who chose home visiting programs will be referred to one of four programs based on their choice. In Leon County those programs include:
1. Healthy Families Florida: A free and voluntary service for expectant parents and parents of newborns. Parents participate in Healthy Families to learn how to recognize and respond to their babies’ changing developmental needs, use positive discipline techniques, cope with the day-to-day stress of parenting in healthy ways, and set and achieve short- and long-term goals.
2. Healthy Start Home Visiting: free and voluntary home visiting program tailored to each women’s pregnancy needs with a wide range of services available at no cost. Healthy Start services are available to pregnant women and to parents, caregivers, and legal guardians of children birth to three years old. These services include healthy pregnancy education, newborn care & parenting education, child development education, breastfeeding education, women’s health education, general support, and care coordination.
3. Parents as Teachers: This is a new program for Leon County. This program is free and voluntary for families with infants birth to three years old. Parents as Teachers uses curricula that support a parent’s role in promoting school readiness and healthy development of children. The approach is intimate and relationship based. Learning experiences are customized for the individual needs of each child and family. The curricula facilitate parent-child interactions, promote development centered parenting and support the family’s well-being.
4. T.E.A.M. Dad Fatherhood Program: This is a new program for Leon County. This program is free and voluntary for fathers with infants birth to three years old. T.E.A.M. Dad provides education, training, and support to help men become the responsible, engaged, and empowered fathers their children need them to be. Curricula includes parenting & co-parenting education, improving child development, building health family & community relationships, workforce development & economic stability and personal development.
The third touch will be providing families access to a free GOMO Early Care app. The program is designed to support families with early childhood education and development as the child grows. The app supports children birth to 8 years old, provides postpartum brain health support for mothers postpartum month 1 up to 6 months, includes personalized text messages with tips and educational information based on the child’s age and 24-7 access to a free library of resources, including stories, games, activities and other learning and development tools