A 30-million-word gap: nowhere is the inequity between families of higher education more apparent than in the vocabularies of 4 year-olds.
As a Head Start-affiliated, early childhood development provider, St. Mark Center faculty can discern these differences in toddlers as young as 18 months. For children who grow up in a professional family, the average 4-year old accumulates 45 million words, versus 13 million words for a child in a family receiving welfare.
It’s a short window – that pivotal period between infancy and 5 years of age – for St. Mark Center to positively influence the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of a child.
Head Start not only promotes school readiness of children from low-income families, but also provides comprehensive services including health, nutrition and social services unique to each family’s needs. For age and income eligible children, St. Mark Center offers Early Head Start to children ages birth to 3 years, and Head Start for children ages 3 to 5 years.