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Children’s Center gets training grant

A grant for $337,903 will allow the Children’s Center to start and develop a project aimed at improving the social and emotional development of area infants and toddlers.

The Advancing Behavioral Competencies Project will be in effect in Western Tidewater for 15 months, according to officials at the Children’s Center, who noted that it could potentially be replicated in other communities if it is deemed to be successful.

The project will focus on providing support and training for early care and education providers for infants and toddlers in Suffolk, Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight. There also will be training, services and support for families and caregivers of those children.

“We are excited to be able to develop additional support services for the social and emotional support of infants and toddlers, said Barbara Mease, executive director at the Children’s Center. “This project will allow us to provide that support by providing information and coaching to care providers and to parents.”

The program involves a partnership among Smart beginnings Western Tidewater, the Planning Council, Paul D. Camp Community College and Old Dominion University’s Training and Technical Assistance Center.

“Too often, infants and toddlers and their families do not have access to specialized services to develop the supports they need,” Mease said. “The ABC Project will increase the support and awareness of parents, providers and the community regarding the social-emotional health of infants and toddlers.”

Mease expects the program to result in the creation of four new jobs in the region.