MCOE Education Spotlight: Merced County students, their families prepare for week of fun

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In ABC30's segment, Education Spotlight, Action News Anchor Landon Burke will talk with Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) officials about some of the biggest topics in education.

Merced County is getting ready to celebrate a week of family fun. Landon Burke got a preview of what's to come in the Week of the Young Child.

Landon: Could you tell me first a little bit about Merced County Head Start and Early Start?

Monica Garza: The Head Start program is administered through the Merced County Office of Education. This program is designed to support 1,157 children and their families. We offer services for children as young as six weeks up to the age of five. We offer a variety of program options, which means we have full daycare for up to ten hours. We have part daycare for children for three and a half hours, and we have a six and a half hour option as well.

Landon: Very cool. So what's the significance of the event this weekend?

Monica: So this weekend, we are kicking off the week of the child festivities will start in Los Banos at Pacheco Park. The event will start at nine to two, and part of the event is celebrating young children, their families, the early childhood educators, and we do this through a community approach. So there'll be many organizations out there providing resources to families, and there'll be also a variety of child development programs that will be hosting different activities for children. These activities are designed for children as young as six weeks are infants and up to eight years old for third graders. And so it's a great time for the family to come out. Enjoy a fun-filled day. They'll be plenty of activities. We'll have the bubble guy out there. We'll have a DJ playing children's music. There'll be free food. We have a vendor through a taco truck that will be providing tacos for the families. And so it's just a great time to go out and soak up some sun and learn more about early childhood education.

Landon: So why is it important that programs like this are available for our community?

Monica: It's important because we as a program are setting the foundation for lifelong learners. We get children as young as six weeks. We support them developmentally. Make sure they're hitting all their milestones on Mark. And as a Head Start program, we're designed to offer comprehensive services, so in addition to supporting children's development, we also monitor their health to ensure they're on track health wise, we offer nutritional activities, and the other large part of what we do is we support the family. What is the family need? Does the family need support in getting back in school, getting a full-time job, or just learning different types of life skills? To learn more information about our Headstart program, we are on mcsp.org under the Early Education tab, and all our information on all our sites are on there and phone numbers.
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