“At ChildStrive, the child and family are at the center of everything we do,” says Rebecca Mauldin, Director of Development and Communications at the local non-profit Childstrive.
Founded by a group of parents in 1963 from a little red school house, focused on serving children with developmental delays and disabilities, to an organization that meets families current needs.
ChildStrive has an several programs supporting families, including specialized support for children with developmental delays in Early Support for Infants and Toddlers, a nurse visiting program for first-time moms (Nurse-Family Partnership), a home-visiting parenting support program (Parents as Teachers), Outreach Counseling for families facing stressors, and an ECEAP program for low-income families.
Today, ChildStrive’s programs span from pregnancy to preschool, addressing a wide range of needs. Its oldest and largest initiative, Early Support for Infants and Toddlers, provides specialized therapy and support services for children and their families facing developmental delays.
This program partners with families individually to build a plan to meet their unique needs. “Through coaching practices, every child at ChildStrive gets the support to thrive in daily activities at home and in the community.” says Jackie Oh, Childstrive’s Director of Early Support for Infants and Toddlers.
Chilstrive has various programs and partnerships in the community, like Play and Learn Groups, the Village on Casino Road partnership and the Homeward House “Though often lesser-known, these are essential support for families in our community,” says Mauldin.
This approach ensures families receive the support they need, whether through coaching, counselling, education, referrals, or direct participation in the programs. Annually, ChildStrive serves over 4000 people, comprising parents and children, across over 2000 families.
Visions for the future
As the community’s needs have changed, so has ChildStrive, which over its 60 years has undergone significant transformations. Ten years ago, the organization decided to shift their name, focusing on community, rather than solely on education.
For the past 60 years, the staff at Childstrive have worked to improve relationships between children and caregivers, staff and parents. “About 80% of the brain development occurs by age 3 – babies and toddlers are always learning and this timeframe can set the foundation for learning. When we start early, we can make a true difference for these kids,” says Mary Cline-Stively, ChildStrive’s CEO.