What is Jump Start?
The Jump Start Parental Training Program is a parenting enrichment program offered in Will, Kendall, and Grundy counties. It is a free program that offers parent education and family support services throughout pregnancy until their child is 3 years of age.
The primary goal of Jump Start is to strengthen parent-child relationships, reinforce parenting skills, and promote child growth and development so that all children develop a strong foundation for learning.
Jump Start is one component program of Easterseals. It is funded by an Early Childhood Block Grant from the Illinois State Board of Education.
What do parents learn?
- The importance of reading, singing, rhyming, and responding to infants and young children.
- Basics of normal growth and development and age-appropriate expectations.
- How to discipline children without resorting to yelling or hitting.
- How to encourage and foster a child’s self-esteem, mutual respect, cooperation, and potential.
- How to manage the stress of parenting
- Effective communication skills
- The variety of community resources available.
What services will be provided to families?
Personal visits- family home visits to help parents understand each stage of their child’s development and to offer practical ideas on ways to encourage learning/literacy and
interaction with their children.
Group parent meetings- group trainings that will give parents the opportunity to enhance their parenting knowledge, gain new insights and share their experiences, common concerns and successes.
Parent-child interactive activities/ Playgroup– provide activities that will model positive interaction, reinforce child development knowledge and provide quality time for parent-child bonding.
Developmental Screenings- regularly scheduled child developmental screenings for overall development, health, hearing, and vision. Screenings provide early detection of potential problems and prevent future difficulties in school.
Linkage to a Community Resource Network- provide families with help to access community services as needed. A Parent Resource Center will also be available to all Jump Start families.
Who can receive Jump Start services?
- Teen parents
- Grandparents raising grandchildren
- Low income families
- Parents with a low level of literacy
- A child with disabilities
- A parent with disabilities
- Chemical dependencies
- Homeless/transient/numerous family locations
- Low birth weight
- Involvement with mental health or social service agencies
- Ongoing health problem of child or parent
- Child with serious behavior concerns
- Suspected child abuse
- Multiple children under age 5
- Foster Parents
- Involvement with the corrections system
- Other families that can benefit from Jump Start services
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