Programs sponsored by provinces, local municipalities or local nonprofits that prepare children, usually age three to five, to succeed in school. The programs are modelled on Head Start/Better Beginnings/Brighter Futures programs and are compensatory in nature targeting children from low income families or those who have or are at risk for a disability and who may have special needs. Services may include comprehensive development screenings, active learning, parent education programs, family activities, early literacy exercises, home visits and healthy snacks during the school day. In some instances, the programs are entirely home-based and focus on providing materials, instruction and support that enable the parent to prepare their child for entering school. Occasionally, the programs refer to short acclimatization sessions to make new pupils familiar with the school and classroom environment before the formal start of the school year. Some programs offer text messaging as a way to encourage parent participation in early education activities.
Programs that provide substitute parental care in a group setting for children during some portion of a 24-hour day. Services may include recreational and developmental activities and snacks and/or meals as appropriate.
Programs that provide classes which feature recreational activities that are specifically designed for children age three to five. The classes may include arts and crafts, storytelling, singing, music and rhythm, tumbling and other age-appropriate pursuits.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.