EPEL works collaboratively with schools, early learning programs, and healthcare partners to connect families with resources, services, and information needed to support their child’s healthy growth and development. EPEL connects families with partners to help meet basic needs, home visiting, developmental concerns, childcare/preschool, behavior/mental health services, and supportive parenting resources.
Healthy children begins with empowering new families with prenatal education about the development of children during the First 2,000 Days from birth to Kindergarten.
The first five years of a child’s life shapes their future as 85-90% of brain growth occurs during those important years. Remember, children develop at their own pace, but it is essential to stay attuned to developmental milestones critical for Kindergarten readiness.
- Autism and Down Syndrome
- Birth to Five Developmental Tip Sheet
- Birth to Two Tip Book
- Family and Caregiver Health
- Fussy Baby Network
- Developmental Screenings
- Developmental Milestone Tracker App for Phone
- Health Care Services and Resource
- Parenting Support Services
It is important that children have regular check ups so you can avoid cavities. Dental care starts before teeth even break through the gums. Do put your baby to de with a bottle.
Once you see a child’s first tooth make an appointment to choose a pediatric dentist and familiarize yourself with check up routines.
Incoming Kindergarten students need a dental exam for school. Make your appointment early for your child. See locations below who see little ones.
- Bender Dental Care
- Familia Dental
- Greater Family Health
- Kids First Pediatric Dentistry
- VNA Dental Care
- Well Child Center
Did you know that school readiness starts before preschool? Readiness starts with new parents getting prenatal care so they are healthy. Connect with a provider to make sure you get the care you need as soon as you find out you are expecting. Advocate Sherman Hospital offers a FREE class for expecting parents called Empowered Pregnancy. Learn more to make sure you are supported during the journey.
Vision and Hearing Screening
Children need a vision and hearing screening annually for preschool children 3 years of age and older in any public or private education program or licensed early care and education program. Incoming Kindergarten students need and eye and dental exam, not just a screening.
Schedule your appointments early!
Lion’s Club provides vision screenings and help with eyeglasses and hearing aids for children. If you need to contact Lion’s Club for assistance click on the community you reside in.
WIC (Women, Infant & Children) Nutrition Services
WIC is a federal nutrition program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered in Illinois by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS). WIC provides families with education for pregnant moms, breast feeding support, resources, access to nutritious foods until your child is five years of age.
Contact Well Child Center to talk to a WIC provider and sign up to receive support.