Nonprofit provides early head start education to Inglewood and Hawthorne families

A local nonprofit is providing early head start education at no cost to some Inglewood and Hawthorne families.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- One nonprofit is giving kids a head start. The Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) is offering its Early Head Start Program to Inglewood and Hawthorne families.

Maria Escamilla and her 3-year-old son Mateo have been utilizing the program for over a year now and she said it's really helped her son.

"Now he's very friendly, he likes to be around people," Escamilla said. "He likes to do work, he likes to learn and that's been very helpful for him."

LAEP is a 37-year old nonprofit that works with families from early education all the way through college and Early Head Start is one of a number of different programs offered.

"The Early Head Start Program serves pregnant mothers, all the ways through children to three-years-old," said LAEP CEO Michele Broadnax.

In the program, families are given their own personal teacher to track healthy development in the child and there's also pre and post-natal support for moms.

"LAEP, comes into the home and really becomes part of the family. We create a bond with not just the mother but the child," said LAEP's Early Head Start educator Celia Fernandez. "I feel that once we create that bond, we create a positive impact and it brings out future leaders."

Teachers assigned to families teach learning games, provide connections to health and social services, provide access to parenting workshops and more.

The program is 100% free to Inglewood and Hawthorne families if they qualify.

"We know that lots of families are experiencing hardships, some of them kind of moving temporarily out of hardship back into hardship," Broadnax said. "So we consider again the entire circumstance of a family if they apply."

To accommodate the safety protocols during the pandemic, the program has shifted to a virtual model, but LAEP representatives said the program could shift back to in-person as early as August.

To find out more visit their website.

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