A high-quality pre-K program treats children like whole people, not just students who come and go from the classroom each day. Learning and growth happen all the time, whether children are at school, at home, on the playground or elsewhere. That’s why many pre-K programs offer support for families and students both inside and outside of the classroom.
At MECK Pre-K, we provide family support through our classroom teachers and our Child Development & Family Support team. Working together, they identify support that children may need in and out of the classroom and connect families to community resources that can benefit the student and the whole family.
Support Begins Before School Starts
When a child is first enrolled in MECK Pre-K, they and their caregivers are invited to a series of community-based developmental screening events. These events are the first of many support opportunities the families will receive throughout their pre-K experience. At these events, teachers and support team members get to know the individualized developmental strengths and needs of each child as they prepare to join the MECK Pre-K program.
Caregiver Education and Resources
Anyone who has cared for a small child can agree that between meeting their day-to-day needs such as food, sleep and bathing, and meeting their social, educational and developmental needs, it’s a lot to keep up with! That’s why MECK Pre-K provides supportive services throughout the year like parent workshops, education about developmental milestones, medical and dental reminders, and more. They also send regular emails to families connecting them with free community resources such as library programs, vaccination clinics, summer enrichment opportunities, and more.
In addition to the general supports we provide for all families, MECK Pre-K also provides individual intervention and assistance when needed. For example, if a child is having trouble with their morning drop-off routine, the teacher and family support team might work with the family to develop some routines at home, so that child can easily transition to the school day.
Families also have regular opportunities for teacher conferences to discuss their individual child’s growth academically, socially, and the overall development and performance of their child in school.
Why Family Support is Important
Research from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, indicates that family support services in preschool environments can lead to increased academic achievement and improved social/emotional skills. Similarly, research from The Pennsylvania State University says that support for caregivers “improves child school readiness, reduces child behavior problems, enhances child social skills, and promotes academic success.”
MECK Pre-K Offers High Quality Free Pre-K Education and Support
MECK Pre-K is open to all four-year-old children in Mecklenburg County. Classrooms are located in licensed childcare centers and taught by licensed teachers and highly qualified assistant teachers. You can apply online at MeckPreK.org.
Do you have a child who is not old enough for pre-K this year? Sign up for our email list and be notified when they’re eligible for MECK Pre-K. Simply go to MECKPrek.org/future-meck-pre-k-students and select your child’s age group.