The Child Development and Family Center (CDFC) began accepting applications for its all-day Preschool for All Expansion program June 17. The program is free for families who qualify.
NIU received Illinois State Board of Higher Education funding for the Preschool for All Expansion (PFA-E) program that increases access to full-day early childhood education and comprehensive services to 4-year-olds. This grant provides funding for 40 preschoolers.
The CDFC has the only PFA-E program in the DeKalb county area. Additionally, while most programs are half-day, NIU’s CDFC expansion program is 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for up to 7 hours of early childhood learning and growth. Wraparound child care services are available to extend the day from 7:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m.
“For children and their families, PFA-E provides an opportunity for a great learning experience that children will greatly benefit from,” said Lisa Schmidt, Practicum Director for the Child Development and Family Center.
The expansion program focuses on the child’s social and emotional development to prepare them for kindergarten, and the teachers in the program work hard to create an environment conducive to children’s success, Schmidt said.
The program works with families to facilitate access to needed services such as dentists, doctors, and other community-based services available through the county health department and social service agencies, said Dahlia Roman, the CDFC Family Coordinator.
“We are planning for an exciting fall school year that will include opportunities for parents to participate in special events and parenting education workshops,” Roman said.
To be eligible for the program, a child must be 4-years-old by Sept. 1, 2019, and meet the Federal Poverty Level family income guidelines. Other factors are assessed upon application. Families do not have to be affiliated with NIU, and the program is inclusive for children with disabilities.
For more information about the Child Development and Family Center at NIU, the PFA-E program or to apply, contact Dahlia Roman, Family Coordinator at 815-753-0125 or [email protected], or visit go.niu.edu/cfdc.