The Early Head Start Partnership Program is a collaboration of Columbus’ leading community agencies focused on the education and welfare of children and their families. Our goal is to ensure that children from infancy to age four, receive a healthy and enriching start in life. Early Head Start provides high-quality early education, along with comprehensive child development, health, nutrition, social and other services to families who qualify. We work with families, partners and providers in a comprehensive approach to meet the needs of the whole child and whole family. This generational approach supports stability and long-term success for families who are at most risk. In 2015, the partnership received $18 million in federal and non-federal funding for a five year period. In 2019, a new grant was awarded to continue our efforts through 2024. In 2021, the program was awarded an expansion grant of $10 million for another five year period. This newest grant will help us serve 103 more infants, toddlers and families, for a total of 263 child care spaces. Read how we are expanding our reach to provide a continuum of services for low-income families.
Want to know more? Read our 2019-2020 Annual Report.
Together with our partners from the A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning and Crane Center for Early Childhood Education Research and Policy, we are making an impact on child, family and community success. Learn how we’re making a difference in our monthly newsletter.
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Collaboration provides eye exams for infants and toddlers
The EYE Can See project provides comprehensive eye exams and glasses to infants and toddlers living in low-income neighborhoods located throughout Columbus, Ohio. The collaboration between Ohio State’s College of Optometry and the university’s Early Head Start Partnership Program focuses on increasing the outreach of high-quality vision services to underserved children six months to 4 years old; an age group often overlooked for vision assessments.
Led by Dr. Catherine McDaniel, Associate Professor of Clinical Optometry at The Ohio State University’s College of Optometry, EYE Can See offers outreach vision services to Early Head Start families, 89% of whom live 100% below the poverty line and/or receive public assistance. These families have limited access to healthcare, food, safe housing, employment, and transportation. Most have never seen an optometrist. With 20% of EHS infants and toddlers having a visual impairment, evaluating children in child care centers and family child care homes is one less barrier for parents. The program promotes the importance of optometric care to parents, caregivers, educators, teachers while providing comprehensive eye examinations and glasses to the most vulnerable population.
This project is made possible by The American Optometric Association (AOA) and Optometry Cares® –Healthy Eyes Healthy Children (HEHC) Community Grant Program. The grant is made possible by the support of founding sponsor Essilor Vision Foundation, Healthy Eyes Advantage, and EyeCare Partners. The HEHC grant program provides annual awards of up to $5,000 for innovative projects with a focus on collaborations between optometrist and community partners to boost awareness and access to vision care for children. The 2020 Ohio grant was one of only 15 awarded in the nation, and the only one in Ohio.