Our Early Childhood Center provides high quality childcare and preschool education for 94 children, ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age. Children receive breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.
The center primarily benefits low-income families who need childcare because they are employed, in school or in training. The majority of the families enrolled are headed by a single parent. LifeWise STL is a partner site of the YWCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The majority of families have their childcare paid through the Head Start/Early Head Start contracts or state subsidies, while others pay according to a sliding scale fee structure.
Health screenings are done throughout the year by Children’s Hospital St. Louis Healthy Kids Express and Saving Sight. Screenings include lead and iron testing; growth assessments; and vision, hearing and dental screenings. We participate in the USDA Child Nutrition Program. Children are evaluated regularly for educational development using Dial 4 and Denver II screenings. Extra resources are provided as needed by Saint Louis Public Schools, First Steps and Belle Children’s Services of St. Louis Arc.
Our Early Childhood Program is accredited under the Missouri Accreditation of Programs for Children and Youth. We are a member of United 4 Children, which provides technical support and in-service training, as well as ChildCare Aware of Missouri. We use Creative Curriculum, which is based on the latest research on how children learn and has been shown through experimental studies to improve classroom quality and promote school readiness of preschool aged children. We use Teaching Strategies Gold as an ongoing assessment tool to help provide individualization, plan goals and objectives, and track outcomes.