A partnership between three local organizations — Howell Public Schools, Livingston Educational Service Agency, and Child Connect — will combine several programs and resources to one location. The Little Highlanders Learning Center collaborative effort is designed to promote high-quality early childhood education. Child Connect began operating at The Little Highlanders Learning Center on June 1.
Over the summer months, Howell Public Schools and Livingston ESA will move several childcare, preschool, Great Start Readiness and Head Start programs to the center in preparation for the 2018-19 school year.
By bringing several programs and resources together, families will have access to daycare, preschool and educational opportunities all at one location. Howell Public Schools will operate its childcare and several preschool programs at the center, and Livingston ESA will house multiple Great Start Readiness and Head Start programs there. Child Connect will offer professional development opportunities for early childhood education providers, parents, and community members. Additionally, Child Connect will expand its free Resource and Lending Library which is available to childcare centers, educators, and families.
“We are very excited to be partnering with LESA and Child Connect to launch the Little Highlanders Learning Center,” said Erin MacGregor, Howell Public Schools superintendent. “Research has proven that students who participate in an early childhood education program perform better academically. Our goal with the learning center is to increase access to these programs while providing parents with additional resources and support.”
“The existing relationships and a common goal of providing high quality early educational experiences for children in the Howell area were a natural springboard for the creation of the Little Highlanders Learning Center,” said Sean LaRosa, Executive Director Early Childhood Services, Livingston ESA. “It was a pleasure to work with so many individuals who were able to imagine a new way of providing services for children and families. The partnership will allow us to be strategic in our support of early childhood educators as well as provide greater opportunities for the families we serve.”
“This collaborative effort is going to be an amazing benefit to our community,” said JoAnn Cook, Child Connect, early childhood workforce development specialist. “By bringing all of these resources under one roof, we hope to expand and increase access to services for childcare centers and parents. This is just the beginning of something great.”
Knowing the positive correlation between high-quality early childhood programs and future school success MacGregor, LaRose and Mike Hubert, Livingston ESA superintendent meet last September to begin discussing ways to improve and increase access to these programs. From there, an advisory committee was formed to create a vision for an early childhood education center. A presentation on the concept for an early childhood education center was made the Howell Public Schools Board of Education and the Livingston ESA Board of Education. Following the presentation, the initiative received the support of both Boards and work immediately began with the goal of opening the center in the fall of 2018.
The Little Highlanders Learning Center is located at 861 E. Sibley St., Howell, Mich.