Early Childhood Education

Disabilities, Early Childhood Education, Foster Care, Housing Insecurity/unsheltered/homeless

Kindering

Why is This Group Important to Research?

I chose to research support services for young children because having access to quality interventions early in the life can greatly increase the later success of a child in life and in school. Early interventions can take the form of many different types of services and are tailored to the specific needs of a child and their family. There are many different reasons why a child may benefit from or require early intervention services. It is important to note that 13 in 100 toddlers have developmental delays, 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, 1 in 303 children are born with Cerebral Palsy, and 1 in 9 children are born prematurely; all of these conditions and more are ones that can be benefitted by a family having early access to high quality interventions and support.

History and Purpose of Kindering

Kindering was founded in 1962 by the families of five disabled children and was run at first by volunteers who worked in private homes. In the following year, Kindering got its first location in a Bellevue School District classroom in order to help meet the demand for their services; this is also the year that they transitioned from being run by volunteers to having paid workers. Over the next 20 years, the school moved its base location into various rooms in other businesses until they finally got their first independent location in 1983. After they had their own building, demand for services continued to grow which led to their continual addition of more services as well as in 1996 they began to contract with local school districts to provide services for the young children in the local areas. After they began their contracted work with school districts, the need for their support grew even more which prompted the addition of even more new services they offered as well as the expansion of their locations. Currently, they have four locations and offer services related to consultation, outreach, pediatric therapies and support, early learning and school readiness, and family education and support.

Who Do They Serve?

Kindering offers services to children and families in King and Snohomish Counties. They have services not only for children ages birth- 10 years old but also for their families and siblings as well. In addition to having services specific to disabilites, they also have specific services for families experiencing homelessness, spanish-speaking families, and children in foster care.

Programs offered

Some of the many programs they offer include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Free developmental evaluations
  • Nutrition and feeding therapy
  • Child care and preschool consultations
  • Special education services
  • Parent education
  • Family co-op play group
  • Virtual services

This is not an extensive list of all of their programs they offer. Please consult their website to see all of their programs.

What Could They Do Better?

Although I do not see any ways that Kindering as an organization itself can improve since it seems like they offer a very comprehensive variety of services, one way that they could improve their website would be to make it more transparent about how donations are used. Based on their website, it is not very clear how donations are utilized, especially since it seems as though they do still sometimes charge families and/or insurance companies for their services.

Was Information About the Organization Accessible?

Information on their website was very accessible. There are multiple tabs at the top of the website that correlate to different important information about the organization and the services that they offer. The links to information about the specific services they provide is also available right on the home screen of the website which makes it even easier to access this information.

Similar Organizations

Two local organizations that provide similar early intervention services are:

Wonderland Child and Family Services

Birth To Three Developmental Center

References

Kindering. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2022 from https://kindering.org/

Kindering (n.d.). [Kindering Logo]. Retrieved February 1, 2022 from https://kindering.org/

Early Childhood Education, Trauma

Childhaven

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

The group that I chose to research is children who have experienced trauma. This group is important because people who have childhood trauma are likely to carry the effects of that trauma into adulthood and have an increased risk of substance abuse, suicide, homelessness, and medical issues such as diabetes and cancer. Children who experience trauma need trauma-informed care in order to reduce the burden of carrying that trauma with them.

A brief history of Childhaven along with the purpose of the organization

The organization that I chose to research is Childhaven. Childhaven was founded in 1909 by Reverend Mark Matthews and was originally a place for single parents to take their children while they worked to keep them safe. Since then it has expanded, first in 1965 when they brought Head Start to the west coast and began providing preschool services, then in 1977 when they launched a Therapeutic Childcare Program to serve children who had experienced trauma. The purpose of the organization is to prevent childhood trauma, address symptoms of childhood trauma in children, and strengthen families and familial connections.

Whom do they serve?

Childhaven serves children and their families who have experienced trauma or are in danger of experiencing trauma. They have an emphasis on serving younger children ages birth to six, but they offer mental health services for people up to age 24 and caregivers of children in their programs.

Programs offered?

Childhaven offers early support for infants and toddlers, early learning for ages three to kindergarten, child and family counseling services, training programs for community-based providers to become better equipped to care for children who have experienced trauma, and wraparound with intensive services which is a program designed to help children ages birth to six who have experienced significant trauma and have severe issues related to that that need a team of professionals to address, as well as general mental health services such as counseling with trauma-informed providers.

What could they do better?

I would love to see Childhaven extend its intensive services to serve older children as well. As previously stated, children who experience trauma will carry that with them for the rest of their lives, and as such, they need support at older ages just as much as when they are younger. While they do provide therapy services for older adolescents, trauma can make it so that people need higher levels of care even as adults, and expanding their intensive services could make Childhaven an even more valuable resource.

Was information about the organization accessible?

Information about Childhaven was accessible, everything I wanted to know about the organization was found on their website. They display their mission statement proudly and have many different fact sheets and sections to address different questions that may come up to visitors. The only thing I found odd about Childhaven is that they don’t have any information on how to volunteer, and I am unsure if they accept volunteers.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

  1. One organization doing similar work is Sound Childcare Solutions. They are an early learning facility focused on providing trauma-informed care and closing the achievement gaps between students who regularly receive early learning opportunities and students who don’t.
  2. Another organization doing similar work is the Children’s Home Society of Washington. They are a non-profit dedicated to providing care for children and teens who are homeless as well as providing services to families who are struggling or need support to give their children a good start on life.

References

“File:Childhaven L lockupH FC cmyk.jpg” by Childhaven is licensed under

Childhaven. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://childhaven.org/

Skip to content