For more detailed information on the CHILD Center, please visit the CHILD Center Website by clicking HERE.
SWAG, UF’s Anita Zucker Center for Early Childhood Excellence, and O2B Kids have partnered to create a child care and early education collaboration called the CHILD Center. Its purpose is to support and enhance the quality of life, health, and early education for young children and families in the SWAG communities in southwest Gainesville.
The CHILD Center is designed to support and enhance the quality of life, health, and early education for young children and their families. It provides high-quality early learning and care for around 50 low-income children age 0 to 5 in the heart of the SWAG neighborhoods. For the children that attend, the Center provides comprehensive child care and early education curriculum, and other valuable resources such as a safe and healthy learning environment, nutritious meals, early identification of learning issues, creative play and exercise, and much more. Additionally, the CHILD Center offers safe, quality childcare to caregivers that need to go to work, school, or attend other self-improvement programs. The CHILD Center provides direct programming for caregivers on topics such as parenting, safety, and nutrition, as well as informal education through things like support groups, family bonding activities, and volunteer opportunities.
The CHILD Center creates a unique link between the child-focused programs offered at the CHILD Center and the broader resources that currently exist at the SWAG Family Resource Center and the medical and dental services of the SW Health Clinic. These three entities, working together, provide a safe and nurturing environment in which children can learn and develop, as well as a comprehensive system of care for the well-being of entire families. All of the services will be provided at low or no cost to the families.
The CHILD Center not only brings with it the local reputation and grassroots community involvement of SWAG, but also the expertise of the nationally acclaimed Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, which brings the latest knowledge, policy, and practices in early childhood studies. SWAG and its partners are also working closely with the Children’s Trust of Alachua County, Head Start, the Early Learning Coalition, and many other experts in the field to make sure that the CHILD Center provides the best opportunities possible for the children enrolled there.
With this team of experts in place, the CHILD Center is a model demonstration center for the advancement of professional development in the field of early learning. Childcare providers from across the county visit the CHILD Center to learn best practices from UF’s early learning experts and improve their own model of childcare delivery. The ultimate goal is to replicate the CHILD Center community-wide in order to increase the quality of childcare for all of Alachua County’s families. The CHILD Center will create better early learning opportunities for children and provide opportunities for entire families, enabling families to break free from issues associated with generational poverty. By providing evidence-based solutions to early childhood practitioners, childcare providers, early childhood agencies, and state and national leaders, communities can be transformed. For children and their families, it will change their lives.
You Can Help.