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Youth Related Information

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B.e.e. Program

Begin Education Early

Program Rationale

In their role as children's first teachers, parents provide the physical, intellectual, and emotional environment that is the basis for children's healthy growth and development. In the first three to five years, children learn the life skills they will use to enter and adapt to domains outside the family, such as peer and school environments. During these early years, the quality of parental care and involvement is critical to the development of the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual skills children will need in order to succeed in these and other domains.

Unfortunately, a variety of circumstances challenge the abilities of parents to provide the quality of care and involvement required to be effective nurturers and teachers of their children. For example, a lack of resources, limited education, and isolation are some of the challenging circumstances facing many rural Alabama families. Especially in rural areas, programming efforts that support improved parenting and children's development are limited in both availability and accessibility.

The Begin Education Early (B.e.e.) program is designed to address the needs that rural and limited resource families have for parenting information and access to family support networks. Its main purpose is to extend educational services and materials in order to actively support parents' involvement in the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of their children. The information shared with participating families is targeted primarily to concerns related to the early childhood years. Thus, the population targeted to receive these services are families consisting of at least one adult and at least one child between the ages of 2-5 years. Families identified as having limited resources and limited access to opportunities for early childhood and parent education are given first priority to participate in the B.e.e. program.