By Kierra Pixler
With more than 995 years of combined early headstart and early childhood education throughout the 16 centers, Central Texas 4c is making a difference for more than young children. They are trying to make a difference for the entire family.
Janell Frazier, Executive Director of Central Texas 4c said, “We are committed to building stronger Texas communities, one child and family at a time.”
CT4C accepts applications for children ages, zero to five years old and pregnant mothers who are at 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
Taking a generational approach, CT4C looks at the needs of each child and family, hoping to help change the trajectory for the children and families.
“Education is what can turn lives around and a lot of people that come through generational poverty just don’t have the skill sets and the knowledge of how to move from poverty into middle class,” Frazier said.
Central Texas 4C goes beyond just preschool education. With a holistic approach, Central Texas 4C (CT4C) also addresses many of the families other needs.
“There is education, health, mental health, dental health, disabilities, family support, and nutrition,” Frazier said. “Everyone knows that we have a program for three to five years olds but then we also have a program for infants and toddlers and pregnant moms.”
“It is tough for families to get out of that financial hole. So we want to work with the families to try to take care of some of that, emergency kind of interventions, like homelessness,” Frazier said. “Last year, 25 of 26 of our homeless families acquired housing.”
Resources for the programs are in-house and referred out.
Marina Tharpe, Director of the Headstart Director said, “Headstart is a federally funded program. We enroll families and they can attend Headstart with no cost to them. We use federal grant money to help them”
Many of the services that families need, such as education, health and nutrition services can be provided by CT4C.
“For other services, we have to refer them to other agencies,” Tharpe said.
“I think one of the strengths of Headstart is that it is a straight federal to local money. It doesn’t go through the state,” Frazier said.
“About 73 cents of every dollar that we spend is for direct services for children and families,” Frazier said.
Certain criteria need to be met and admission is not a first come first serve basis.
“We have to make sure that that, that criteria is being met but then there are some other things,” said Frazier. “Everybody goes on the waiting list and it is a criteria point’s based list. For instance, single parents get more points than two parent families. , children with disabilities get more points. There are ways that we determine who gets the next slot when there is an opening.”
For the last two years, CT4C has been a finalist in the HEB Award of Excellence.
CT4C has sixteen centers in Temple, Belton, Killeen, Harker Heights, Troy, Holland and Copperas Cove.
Applications are accepted throughout the whole year.
For more information about Central Texas 4C or to submit an application visit http://ct4c.org/ or call 254-778-0489.