Joining the network of missions arising out of the Church of the Saviour in the Adams-Morgan area of Washington, Jubilee JumpStart will provide a community of love and encouragement for infants, toddlers and preschool children in partnership with their parents in Jubilee Housing and its neighborhood. By fostering secure, stable nurturing relationships with their parents and teachers and offering rich opportunities to learn and grow, we will enable our children to delight in their childhood, to prepare to flourish in school, and so to fill up with love and talent that they will serve as constructive leaders in later life.
We will serve 46 children in full-day activity and offer night and weekend care for children whose parents must work during those hours. Because social and economic diversity will strengthen the program’s impact, up to 11 of our children will come from full-paying families.
JumpStart’s program will focus on two key research findings that reflect our concern for our children as beloved of God: (1) that consistent nurturing relationships with one or a few caregivers are the most crucial foundation for both the intellectual and the social growth of children, and (2) that a carefully structured curriculum that begins in infancy and continues up to kindergarten has a dramatic impact on the capacity of a child to perform well in school and live well in later life.
To provide this critical foundation, JumpStart will
- Work with its children in small groups with a high ratio of caregiver to child that exceeds District of Columbia requirements, to allow for close nurturing relationships.
- Have a lead caregiver with a college degree in early childhood in each group and seek other teachers with at least 2 years of college who are pursuing such a degree, to ensure an understanding of children’s need and appropriate ways to respond to them.
- Provide ample pay and benefits, an appealing environment, and a strong system of psychological training and support to encourage staff to remain with the program and provide stable core relationships for the children.
- Accept District of Columbia childcare subsidies to support the participation of low-income families.
- Structure relationships among teachers and parents or guardians to ensure consistency of care at JumpStart and at home.
- Provide intensive support for parents through home visits, parenting training, and support groups.
- Draw from curricula recommended for the Early Head Start and Head Start programs that longitudinal studies have shown to make a marked improvement in the social, academic, and work success of at-risk children.
- Structure a program for each child that fits the child’s unique growth process and addresses any developmental challenges.
- Serve its children and parents with empathy and compassion and provide experiences that encourage their own empathy and compassion.
In support of this mission, the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis will provide a rare depth of insight and assistance to JumpStart’s caregiver/teachers, home visitors, parents and children in building and sustaining secure nurturing relationships, through individual and group meetings and in-depth assistance for families needing special attention.
Space for Jubilee JumpStart will be created in Jubilee Housing’s Ontario Court building in time for operations to begin in the fall of 2008.
For more information, contact Joe Collier, Jubilee JumpStart, P.O. Box 21097, Washington, DC 20009, 703-927-2919 (mobile), email@example.com or check our developing website at www.jubileejumpstart.org.