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Programs & Services

Head Start

Early Head Start

Center-Based Early Head Start

Home-Based Early Head Start

Expectant Moms Early Head Start

Universal Pre-Kindergarten Head Start

Day Care Head Start Collaboration

Project REACH: Head Start Program for Medically Fragile Children

Special Education Related Services

Head Start Special Education Inclusion Classrooms

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis Program)

Early Intervention Program

Preventive Health Care And Nutrition Services

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Services

Mental Health

Professional Development

Facilitated Enrollment – Health Insurance

 

Head Start

Head Start, both center-based and home-based applications, and Early Head Start form the core of YVY’s Early Learning Center. They serve more than 1,300 children. Both the Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer the core services associated with the program, including special needs screening and follow-ups, medical needs screening and tracking and other social service supports.

The federally funded center based Head Start program is full day (6-plus hours) and part day (3.5 hours). It services children three to five years old and is designed to give income-eligible children a quality preschool educational experience.

The curriculum is designed to nurture the development of the whole child in the social, emotional, linguistic, cognitive and physical domains in an environment which supports social and emotional development. Learning is child centered within the framework of teacher planning. Teachers work on language and literacy development, encouraging the ability to read and write fluently. Number concepts are taught at an age-appropriate level. Science, physical activity, social and emotional development, friendship and sharing, are all incorporated into the Head Start curriculum. Nutrition, health and safety are topics that are also integrated into the lesson plans as well as addressed directly.

To promote interaction and language use, YVY employs teachers who speak the children’s native language and offers literacy classes for the parents as well.

In accordance with the NYCDOH requirement, YVY hires teachers in the classrooms with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In addition, each site must have at least one teacher with a NYS certificate in early childhood education. For the special needs children as per NYSDOE requirements YVY hires only professional educated and clinical staff to provide those services.


YVY utilizes curricula that are aligned with state developed K-12 academic content standards to improve school readiness into the public and private school systems.



Early Head Start

YVY’s Early Head Start program began in 1998 with a grant from the federal government to serve infants and toddlers ages 0–3 years. YVY’s Early Head Start, one of the first in Brooklyn and Staten Island, has three components: Center-Based Early Head Start, Home-Based Early Head Start, and Programs for Expectant Moms. This program is also funded by the federal government and provides childcare as well as age-appropriate educational programs to income eligible infants and toddlers. Governance of the program must comply with the same guidelines as the regular Head Start program.

Center-Based Early Head Start

EHS center base services 112 children in 14 classrooms at 4 sites. The Staten Island locations provide center base classrooms for one year old and two year old children. The Brooklyn locations provide center base care only for two year old children. In all classrooms there are two caregivers for a maximum of eight children. Early Head Start supports the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language development of each child. Parent involvement and supporting positive parent –child relationships are a cornerstone of the program. All caregivers receive training in developmentally appropriate practice in caring for infants and toddlers. Caregivers must meet requirements for Child Development Associate credential.


Home-Based Early Head Start

This program provides 196 families of infants and toddlers a range of valuable learning experiences, through weekly home visits and group socializations twice monthly.

Home visits provide opportunities for training may include useful skills; sharing playful activities for parent and child; planning activities for the week; or helping with parenting issues. Home visits support a responsive parent-child relationship under the guidance of a trained home visitor.

Twice monthly socializations include Mommy and Me get-togethers hosted by Home Visitors, They give parents and babies the opportunity to meet with other families at the exciting Early Head Start Infant Toddler center. A rich curriculum of infant-toddler music and movement routines, creative art exploration as well as stimulating educational toys, toddler-sized equipment, and activity centers encourage parents and children to share engaging experiences.

Expectant Moms Early Head Start
 

EMP provides services to 54 women in Boro Park and Williamsburg, through education, empowerment and support during their pregnancy and their post partum stage.

Upon enrollment, the expectant mom’s program assists the pregnant woman to access a medical and dental home if necessary. Pregnancy and nutritional assessments are completed every trimester and the mother is encouraged to continue her medical and dental visits. When necessary, referrals to other agencies are made for possible additional assistance in areas of pre and post partum depression as well as lactation, emergency food and clothing. All mothers are called/visited every week to follow up on their progress in pregnancy.

Pertinent workshops are given twice a month and transportation, babysitting and refreshments for moms and their children is provided. An aerobics class is taught by a certified trainer for pregnant women. Pregnant women are given instruction on all aspects of pregnancy, labor and delivery, post partum depression, and benefits of breastfeeding. The post partum mothers are given classes in infant massage, CPR, First Aid, and breastfeeding. There are support groups for postpartum women fostering a positive postpartum recovery and enhancing parent child attachments.

When the baby is born, a nurse visits the mother and newborn within 2 weeks of birth to assess the mother and child.

The EMP has an extensive lending library. The library consists of books, tapes, CDs and videos on pregnancy, childbirth, fetal development, parenting, baby development, infant massage, as well as inspirational and stress reducing enjoyable books. These books are culturally appropriate for our moms.

Mothers receive mailings every week on topics such as pregnancy/nutrition/parenting information s well as invitations to the workshops and other parent activities that are offered through YVY. These activities include the use of YVY’s Fitness Center, parenting classes and Father Involvement classes.

The babies are transitioned to the Home Based Program when a slot is available.


Universal Pre-Kindergarten Head Start

To improve service in the Head Start and Early Head Start program, YVY in 1999 added Pre-Kindergarten to its programs in community school districts 20 and 22 in Brooklyn and 31 in Staten Island, extending the school day beyond the normal 6 hours funded by Head Start.

This program, funded by the New York City Board of Education, gives working parents greater flexibility by addressing their child care needs.

The program currently serves more than 200 children, 3 to 5 years old.


Day Care Head Start Collaboration

YVY, in its effort to meet the needs of the whole child, has also collaborated with New York City’s Day Care Program which provides child care services to income eligible pre-school children. This allows YVY to offer enhanced Head Start services to children and families enrolled in the Day Care Program at four YVY sites.

Project REACH: Head Start Program for Medically Fragile Children

One of Yeled v'Yalda's newest initiatives, this program services children ages 3-5 years who have been diagnosed with a serious and/or chronic illness, such as cancer, congenital heart defect, seizure disorder, etc. Structured on the home- based Head Start model, individualized services can be provided both in the child's home and/or their treating hospital, allowing children who cannot attend a preschool program to benefit from ongoing educational and social-emotional support. Partnering with organizations like Chai Lifeline and the American Cancer Society, as well as New York based hospitals, Project REACH's goal is to provide support to the entire family who may be struggling with their child/sibling's medical needs.

Like all of YvY's programs, Project REACH utilizes a child-centered learning model which focuses on addressing the unique needs of each child. It uses a curriculum aimed at nurturing the development of the whole child, addressing the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical domains. Home visitors spend 90 minutes at either the child's home or hospital each week, enabling the child to learn at his/her own pace while simultaneously undergoing medical treatment. Monthly group socializations for the entire family are also offered in an effort to foster healthy social behaviors in the children, educate parents about various pertinent topics, and encourage families who encounter similar medical struggles to meet and gain support from each other.

Special Education Related Services
 

Head Start Disabilities Services
The Head Start program requires that 10% of enrolled children have identified special needs. In order to fund the necessary therapies for special needs children enrolled in Yeled V’Yalda Head Start and Early Head Start, YVY sought and received approval through the New York State Education Department and the New York City Department of Health to become a provider of Special Education and Early Intervention services. YVY’s Special Education Division now provides these services to children at all YVY sites.
At YVY Head Starts, teachers, social service staff, education staff, parents and therapists are able to work in seamless collaboration to serve all special needs children. Head Start/Early Head Start staff work closely with service providers to incorporate the goals of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) into the curriculum.
YVY Special Education Division
The YVY Special Education Division also addresses the needs of children in other Head Start and non-Head Start sites, within the parameters of its city and state contracts. YVY is an approved evaluation site, as well as a provider of related services (speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling) and Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEIT).
YVY’s team of professionals conduct multidisciplinary bilingual and monolingual evaluations for children ages 3-5 years through the Department of Education (DOE) Committee on Pre-School Special Education (CPSE). The recommendations of the evaluators, which include parents' input, are incorporated into an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to address the developmental needs of the child. Teachers work with service professionals to support the goals of the IEP in their curriculum, and parents are encouraged to work with these goals at home.
Any child with a suspected disability can be referred for both assessment and treatment of cognitive or developmental disabilities. If parents suspect that their child may have delays, they can have the child professionally assessed to assure that any deficit is addressed. YVY carefully matches each child with an appropriate therapist and is always sensitive to parents’ concerns.
YVY’s highly-skilled special education itinerant teachers (SEIT) provide therapeutic intervention to the special needs child in the behavioral, cognitive, and sensory domains and also support teachers so they can best meet the educational needs of the child
YVY’s dynamic group of related services professionals with exemplary skills provide speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling services for children age 3 to 21 years.
All of YVY’s therapists work under close supervision and undergo constant training to help them keep their skills up to date. Specializations address the varying needs of the special needs child. These specializations include, among others, expertise in sensory integration, brain gym, cognitive therapy, social skills training, voice disorders, oro-motor deficiencies, fluency, kineseotaping, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) training.
Children receive services at the Head Start site, Day Care center, Preschool or Elementary School, in the classroom or out (as appropriate) or, occasionally, at the child’s home.
YVY also provides two fully-equipped therapy gym centers with state of the art therapy equipment, one in Boro Park and one in Williamsburg, which offer specialty equipment for more significant needs. A therapy pool is a new addition to YVY’s specialty services, allowing for the benefits of therapy in an aquatic setting.
More than 4,000 children ages three to twenty-one are currently being provided with speech therapy, occupational and physical therapies, SEIT teachers and counseling services through YVY’s Special Education Division.


Head Start Special Education Inclusion Classrooms

The goal of these classrooms is to mainstream a group of six children aged 3 to 5 years who have been diagnosed as being developmentally delayed with 12 regular Head Start children. Within each classroom, a certified pre-school teacher is paired with a SEIT and assisted by a paraprofessional or assistant teacher to provide the necessary services. This model gives the developmentally delayed child the opportunity to interact and learn together with the more typical child. The agency was recently awarded a grant to service 11 inclusion classrooms for children with special needs.

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis Program)

For over a decade, Yeled V'Yalda's ABA program has been working to help our children move ever forward in their quest for developmental growth. Our goal is to enable children to achieve maximum potential in their homes, schools, and communities by utilizing our intensive approach to learning.
At present Yeled has four ABA sites [Boro Park, Crown Heights, Flatbush and Williamsburg] where we are currently servicing close to 90 children. Each site is able to inculcate the culture of their community, ensuring that family partnership be an integral part of the therapeutic process. The clinical director of each site is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst [BCBA] who partners with our ABA trained, licensed therapists to best service our children and their families. Our administrative director ensures that all mandated services are provided in a manner that best addresses the needs of each child. In addition, Yeled employs a world-renowned ABA consultant to regularly visit our sites offering ongoing professional training and guidance. Trainings, workshops and seminars for our staff are mandatory.
Training for the 2011-2012 school year, to date, included two days of workshops by J. Tyler Fovel founder of Strategic Alternatives, a company that specializes in ABA program development and delivery. Tyler is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a senior consultant for ABA programs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Tyler guided us in updating our assessment, intake and program writing protocols.
Staff members also attended an insightful training by Michelle Garcia Winner. Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, specializes in the treatment of individuals with social cognitive deficits. During the course of her training, members gained a comprehensive understanding of methodologies that can be best utilized to specifically address deficits in the social thinking process and related social skills.
Another very informative seminar presentation attended by Yeled's ABA staff, was given by Mitchell Taubman [Ph.D], Ron Leaf [Ph.D] and John McEachin [Ph.D.], authors of one of the most frequently used guides for writing ABA programs, "A Work In Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism". The workshop discussed in great detail and clarity the acquisition of social skills.
The 2011-2012 school year has begun with intensive therapeutic intervention for all our children. Here at Yeled's ABA Center we inculcate a "whole child" approach whereby a team of professional, highly- qualified and talented individuals, partner to best meet the needs of children and their families.

Early Intervention Program

Parents of children newborn through age 3 who have a premature child or who feel that their child’s development is lagging behind that of his or her peers can contact YVY for service coordination and evaluation through the YVY Early Intervention Program (EIP).
This program is licensed by the New York State Education Department and funded by the New York City Department of Mental Health. It provides both core and supplemental evaluations to infants and toddlers. All evaluations are conducted in the dominant language of the family.
YVY’s highly- skilled state- licensed staff provides bilingual and monolingual evaluations and therapy services. The recommendations of the evaluators to address the developmental needs of the child are incorporated into an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) with the parents' input. YVY Service Coordinators are sensitive to parents’ concerns and are well-versed in the kinds of resources available to children. Parents and caregivers then work with service professionals to support the goals of the IFSP and are encouraged to follow through with supporting activities between therapy visits.
Services children can receive through the EIP include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education/special instruction, counseling, family training, nutrition services, and vision therapy. Services take place in the natural environment of the child, whether in a day care center or at home.
EI therapists are also trained in specialty areas such as sensory integration, brain gym, cognitive therapy, social skills training, voice disorders, oro-motor deficiencies, fluency, kineseotaping, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) training
Service coordination is an added service parents receive when referring their infant or toddler to the EI program. YVY Service Coordinators, who are well-versed in the kinds of resources available to children, work with parents to accommodate their needs with sensitivity and always respect their confidentiality.


Preventive Health Care And Nutrition Services

As part of its mission to serve the whole child, YVY emphasizes the need for preventive health measures for parent and child. Prenatal care for expectant moms is only the beginning. YVY has a comprehensive system of services for preventing health problems and intervening promptly when problems exist. Parents are encouraged to be involved in this process.
At the time of application to the Head Start Program, parents are asked if they have a “medical home” and health insurance. If they do not, family workers try to provide options for these families. Children are also screened for vision, hearing, dental health, speech and cognitive disorders. Parents are involved in all aspects of the health and safety of the child and they are encouraged to keep up with a schedule of “well child care." YVY has a software system which tracks the medical services currently provided for the child and follows up with a “reminder” on future appointments. Staff are trained to be alert to the possibility of child abuse or neglect.
The YVY Early Head Start Program has made tremendous strides in providing children, their families and expectant moms with a state of the art comprehensive system of preventative health services through collaborative relationships with community clinics, hospitals and local healthcare providers. As a result, children are up to date on immunization and dental hygiene. Health education is included in the classroom and reflected in daily lesson plans. Children brush their teeth and wash their hands after meals according to proper protocol.
Staff and families work together to identify children’s nutritional needs. YVY maintains a certified nutritionist on staff who screens every child and is available for consultation regarding any child’s nutritional needs and the agency also provides culturally sensitive daily meals for the children based on the USDA’s food pyramid.
Parent training is regularly scheduled and includes topics such as: child development, asthma, CPR, nutrition, stress management, health and safety.

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Services

This program, funded by the New York State Department of Health, provides nutrition education, lactation counseling, checks for nutritious foods, and referrals to social service and health care agencies for expecting, nursing, and postpartum women, and infants and children to age 5. Licensed nutritionists, lactation specialists, and peer counselors provide participants with information on healthy eating, nursing assistance and support. An extensive nutrition resource library supplies participants with informational materials on a wide range of nutrition and health related topics and issues. Group nutrition classes, informative seminars, food demonstrations, and healthy lifestyle initiatives are a regular part of the program.

Yeled V’Yalda WIC has been serving the New York City WIC population since April 2004. Originally allocated a caseload of 2,500 Yeled V’Yalda WIC has had its caseload increased annually by NYS DOH, with the program currently servicing over 8,000 participants monthly.

 Safe Drug Free School Community Act services

YVY is contract provider for Agudath Israel of America to provide services to school- age student at risk of substance/drug abuse. These services are provided in private or parochial elementary or high schools for students at risk. Services provided through this program include individual counseling, parent counseling, therapeutic remediation, staff development, parent training and a mentoring program. YVY provides the specialty staff who provide these services based on the individual needs of each school.

 

Mental Health
 

The mental health component of Head Start seeks to increase awareness of child mental wellness, to train parents and staff on how to integrate the social emotional domain within all aspects of child development, to collaborate with parents and teachers in identifying children with social emotional deficits and behavioral difficulties, and to provide mental health interventions to children and families in our Head Start program. Understanding a child’s behavior in the light of child development principles helps parents and staff to respond in a constructive manner, thus supporting the individual child’s development and strengthening the child-parent relationship. Yeled V’Yelda has Mental Health Consultants (social workers and psychologists) at each site who work with teachers, family workers, therapists, children and parents on an ongoing basis and are available to intervene for mental health emergencies. In addition, the Mental Health Consultants offer ongoing parenting workshops and educational seminars for parents and teachers about child development, parenting concerns, effective discipline techniques, and child mental health.

Objectives of Yeled V’Yalda’s Mental Health Effort:

• To help guide our children towards positive emotional and cognitive growth. This occurs through the development of age appropriate personal and interpersonal behavior.


• To provide staff and parents/guardians with contemporary insights in the child development process.


• To assist in the early identification of children with disabilities.


• To help focus and integrate home and community resources in an individualized child centered program.


• To foster a positive attitude towards mental health services, and their role in individual child development.


• To identify and promote availability of community-based mental health services to our children and families.

Emphasis on Fathers and Male Role Models

Research studies demonstrate that children who have their father involved in their life on a regular basis do better in school, have higher self esteem, and are less likely to be involved in criminal and gang related activities. (http://www.fatherhood.org/history.asp) Yeled V’Yalda Head Start stresses the importance of having fathers and male role models involved in their children’s life. Our goal is to increase father involvement in the daily lives of their children. Fathers are encouraged to participate in home visits, scheduled conferences with teachers, and special events at school. In addition, Yeled V’Yalda offers an ongoing Father’s Group titled: The Father Chevra and given by Dr. Edward Kaminetzky, Certified School Psychologist; Director of Mental Health.




Professional Development

YVY provides its staff with ongoing training to enhance their knowledge in the field of services they provide to children. Ongoing lectures by outside consultants and self assessments in the classrooms have developed a strong partnership with staff to be open to more training and development.

YVY also sponsors scholarships for asst. teachers and family workers to enroll in programs to become CDA qualified.

YVY promotes parents and members of faith based communities to pursue a degree in early childhood education so they can be employed and become providers for children in their communities. We prove to them that cultural sensitivity and traditions don’t have to be sacrificed.
 

Facilitated Enrollment – Health Insurance

To further YVY’s mission to assist children and their families in all areas that they need assistance, YVY has proposed and been awarded a contract from the New York State Department of Health to conduct Facilitated Enrollment.

Facilitated Enrolment is a program where working families and individuals who are uninsured, or under insured, can apply for health insurance such as Medicaid through local community based organizations. A sliding income scale ensures free to low cost health insurance to thousands of New Yorkers who would otherwise be uninsured.

In addition to providing a convenient way for clients to apply for public health insurance, once a client is enrolled, YVY will also serve as an advocate for the client, if they have any problems with their coverage through the course of their eligibility period.