Services to Pregnant Women
Serving pregnant women and teens in Trenton, NJ.
The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey (CHSofNJ) Early Head Start (EHS) program provides prenatal education, resource connection, and support to pregnant women and teens in Trenton, New Jersey. All services are provided at no cost to families. For detailed descriptions of the services provided to HS/EHS families, refer to the ‘Comprehensive Services’ tab below.
Pregnant women participate in engaging, interactive lessons and activities during twice monthly 90-minute visits in the comfort of their own home. Programming is designed to enhance expectant parents’ knowledge of pregnancy, fetal development, health and nutrition, breastfeeding, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. Pregnant women may also participate in pregnancy groups and parent trainings.
Socialization events are held monthly at convenient locations throughout Trenton such as CHSofNJ’s main office, local parks, etc. These events create opportunities for women to meet and socialize with other expectant mothers in their community. Pregnant women, their children, and their partners enjoy delicious, nutritious meals together while participating in engaging and activities, thereby building friendships and support networks they can rely on as they navigate parenthood. Staff-led socialization discussions are designed to prepare expectant parents for childbirth or educate them on any number of issues related to pregnancy and parenting.
Participants can enroll their babies in EHS immediately following delivery to continue our partnership. To learn more about EHS Home-Based, click here. To learn more about EHS Center-Based, click here.
Our Philosophy. CHSofNJ’s HS/EHS program actively encourages parent participation – in the classroom, at HS/EHS events, and in administering the program. We recognize parents as their child’s first and best teacher, and we are committed to partnering with parents to help their children and families achieve their full potential!
As with all CHSofNJ programs, HS/EHS views children, families, and services through a trauma-informed lens. Our staff are trained to understand and serve children who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which can impact behavior, health, development, cognition, and happiness. Our team also recognizes that trauma exists in the lives of parents, guardians, and other family members. Therefore, we approach all interactions with respect and care to ensure comfortability and build a trusting partnership with each family we serve.
Please note that challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have created additional considerations and flexibility in enrollment. Please call 609-508-0332 or submit a Program Interest Form to learn if your family now qualifies.
- Children (birth-age 5) from families with incomes below the Federal income poverty guidelines. Select this link to view the HHS Poverty Guidelines.
- Children from homeless families, or families whose residency is unstable or uncertain
- Children from families receiving public assistance such as TANF or SSI
- Foster children are eligible regardless of their foster family’s income
- Reside within Trenton, or a neighboring town that shares a zip code with Trenton (see list of zip codes here).
CHSofNJ HS/EHS uses a blend of curricula to meet the needs of our children and families.
- Head Start
- The Creative Curriculum for Preschool for children ages three through five incorporates interactive, engaging, and meaningful lessons and learning opportunities to support children’s education and school readiness.
- Early Head Start (Center Based)
- The Creative Curriculum for Infants & Toddlers for children ages zero through two incorporates interactive, engaging, and meaningful lessons and learning opportunities to support children’s education and school readiness.
- Early Head Start (Home Based)
- Partners for a Healthy Baby features materials for home visitors and families that promote child development and family well-being. The curriculum is organized around children’s ages and topics home visitors can use to support both age-appropriate learning and family development.
- Parenting Curriculum
- Ready Rosie is an evidence-informed and research-based family engagement and early learning resource proven to have a positive impact on family behaviors and child outcomes. We use this engaging parenting curriculum to support families in creating meaningful learning and bonding opportunities in their homes.
- Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum
- The Second Step Curriculum helps children build empathy, friendship, emotional regulation, and problem solving skills. Additionally, Second Step supports children experiencing trauma and/or behavioral challenges.
In addition to high-quality early childhood education and pre- and post-natal education for pregnant women, CHSofNJ HS/EHS provides:
- Health and Nutrition Education to promote healthy, happy children and families
- Connection to Medical and Dental Services to ensure children are healthy, meeting developmental milestones, and up-to-date on required check-ups and immunizations
- Linkage to community resources and other CHSofNJ programs such as WIC, our Doula program, Family Success Centers, and more to help meet the needs of each family we serve.
- Interactive Family Activities to reinforce positive parent child relationships
- Mental and Behavioral Health Support provided by caring, experienced professionals who consider each child and family’s specific needs through a trauma-informed lens to provide appropriate, needed support
- Support for children with disabilities, including those with or in need of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
- Fatherhood Support to empower fathers and father-figures raising young children
- Education, Job training and Career Development opportunities to help connect adults with rewarding and gainful employment
- Family Partnership Agreements, led by parents and supported by HS/EHS, designed to help families achieve their goals
- Healthy Meals and Snacks are provided daily at all of our Center-Based sites, and they’re also provided at monthly socialization events for our EHS Home Based program participants
- Transportation is provided (limited availability, based on need)
CHSofNJ HS/EHS is committed to helping your child thrive in all areas of life. In addition to quality early childhood education and connection to comprehensive supportive services for your family, our staff Nurse and local health partners work together to ensure your child’s health needs are met. Within 45 days of your child’s starting school or receiving the first home visit, he or she will be screened for Height and Weight, Vision, Hearing, and Dental. Results of these screenings will help identify possible interventions to ensure your child’s health and wellness. Our staff Nutritionist works closely with families whose children have nutritional concerns. Families with questions or concerns raised by other health screenings can be quickly and seamlessly linked to our partners specializing in diagnosis and/or treatment of various health challenges or conditions.
CHSofNJ HS/EHS is proud of our Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC), which consists of local health professionals dedicated to supporting our children and families. The HSAC meets twice a year to discuss potential partnerships within the Trenton and Mercer County community and to make recommendations surrounding health screenings and services delivered in HS/EHS.
Developmental and Behavioral Screenings
Early identification of challenges can make a world of difference to a child. The earlier a concern is identified, the greater chance a child has for reaching his or her full potential in life. CHSofNJ EHS/HS has a timely and systematic approach toward screening that indicates which children require a formal assessment of their developmental needs. In collaboration with each child’s parent and within 45 calendar days of the child’s entry into the program, staff administer the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ-3) to pinpoint progress in children between the ages of one month to 5 ½ years; The Early Screening Inventory, Third Edition (ESI-3) to help identify children who may benefit from special education services; and the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® Social-Emotional, Second Edition (ASQ:SE-2), focused solely on social-emotional development in young children, to identify behavior requiring further assessment, specialized intervention, or ongoing monitoring to help children reach their fullest potential during their most formative years.
For pregnant women in our EHS program, staff administer the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) twice – once during pregnancy and again following delivery – to determine if a new or expectant mother might benefit from mental health intervention or support. The EPDS is only a screening tool and does not diagnose postpartum depression. However, using the EPDS, new mothers can be referred to our staff Mental Health Coordinator for support or a community mental health provider for diagnosis and treatment, as appropriate.
Our program implements a comprehensive School Readiness Plan that encompasses the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF). The ELOF is designed to show the continuum of learning for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It is grounded in comprehensive research around what young children should know and be able to do during their early years (birth to age 5). To explore the Interactive ELOF, click here.
CHSofNJ HS/EHS uses Teaching Strategies GOLD® to inform instruction without disruption by embedding authentic, observation-based assessment into every day. The assessment model used in GOLD® enables teachers to select and adapt activities that support each child’s development and learning. Meaningful reports inform classroom practices and individualized instruction. Areas assessed using Teaching Strategies GOLD® include:
- Science & Technology
- Social Studies
- The Arts
- English Language Acquisition
CHSofNJ HS/EHS also utilizes the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) to help focus, measure, and improve teacher-student interactions – a key factor proven to drive children’s academic and life-long success. CLASS® is a tool for observing and assessing the effectiveness of interactions in classrooms. It measures the emotional, organizational, and instructional supports provided by teachers that contribute to children’s social, developmental, and academic achievement.
Please explore our program outcomes by viewing our most recent CHSofNJ HS/EHS Annual Report in the ‘Additional Information’ tab below.
- Head Start (ages 3-5)
- 715 Bellevue Avenue
- 1198 Southard Street
- 794 E. State Street
- 1746 S. Clinton Avenue
- Early Head Start (ages 0-3)
- 1198 Southard Street
- 1435 Liberty Street *opening in 2021-2022 school year
The impact of COVID-19 caused our program to think critically about how we deliver services. We are thrilled to return to fully in-person learning in September 2021. However, we have found that many of these tools helped our families to stay engaged in their child’s learning and activities, and made it easier for parents to participate in Parent Orientations, Parent-Center Meetings, and Policy Council meetings. Therefore, we will continue to use innovative platforms such as Zoom, ClassDojo, Teaching Strategies® MyChat forum, and more to connect with families and support children’s learning.
Additionally, if the need arises to return to remote or hybrid learning, we will help connect your child with a Chromebook and internet access so that he or she can continue to participate in our learning activities and lessons with their teachers and classmates.
- For assistance enrolling in any of our program options, call (609) 695-6274, Ext. 213.
- To learn how HS/EHS engages parents and families, contact Francys Soto, Family & Community Partnerships Manager firstname.lastname@example.org / (609) 462-2661.
- To learn about our curriculum, teaching practices, classroom environment, and educational staff credentials, contact Amisha Shah, Education Manager email@example.com / (609) 610-0426.
- To learn about our health, safety, nutrition, and transportation services, contact Erika Greenidge, Health & Safety Manager firstname.lastname@example.org / (609) 508-0526.
- To learn about our services for pregnant women, contact Johanna Quiñones, EHS Home-Based Program Manager email@example.com / (609) 306-0883.
- To learn about our partnership with TCHS to provide EHS to infants/toddlers of teens completing their high school education, contact Antoinette Harrison, EHS Center-Based Program Manager firstname.lastname@example.org / (609) 731-1252.
- To learn about the quality of our programming or make suggestions for quality improvement, contact Dana Johnson, Quality Assurance Manager email@example.com / (609) 802-3202.
- To learn about the Project H.I.M. fatherhood initiative, contact Mykal Pemberton, Male Involvement Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org / (609) 331-4150.
- To speak with our HS/EHS Executive Director Isaac L. Dorsey, please contact email@example.com or (609) 695-6274, Ext. 136.
- Current School Year Calendar
- HS/EHS Center-Based Brochure
- EHS Home-Based Brochure
- Enrollment Flier
- HS/EHS Annual Report
Additional languages: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cr/fns-nondiscrimination-statement