Early Connections Overview


Early Connections operates as part of the Lamar County School District in partnership with the Institute for Disability Studies. The program provides early childhood education and developmental services across all income levels for children who are typically developing and children who have special needs. Early Connections provides the following:

  • Early childhood teachers with degrees in child development, child and family studies or early intervention;
  • Highly-trained professionals that provide assistance to early childhood teachers, children and families including university professors, early interventionists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and a nurse practitioner;
  • Early intervention and related services for children with special needs;
  • Families First Resource Center (with parent and child play groups, materials and toys to check-out);
  • On-site developmental screening and assessment;
  • Access to parent enrichment activities, classes, and support groups;
  • Developmentally-appropriate learning activities including art, music, theater, science, literacy, math, Spanish, and physical fitness; and
  • Warm, supportive relationships that guide children’s engagement and behaviors.

Children served – Early Connections serves children, both with and without special needs, ages 1 1/2 to 5 years old.


Hours – Early Connections is open from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 for students eligible for services through Lamar County Schools.

Enrollment application fee - A $10 nonrefundable application fee is due at the time of application for each family. As space becomes available a $75 registration fee, per child, will be assessed.


Tuition – Tuition for toddlers is $600 per month for full time, $500 per month for part time. Three or more full days is considered full time. Two full days, mornings from 7:30 - 11:30, or afternoons from 11:30 - 5:30 for students receiving services through Lamar County Schools is considered part time.

Tuition for our 2, 3, and 4 year old program is $500 per month for full time, $375 per month for part time WITHOUT lunch, or $400 per month with lunch. Two full days, mornings from 7:30 - 11:30, or afternoons from 11:30 - 5:30 for students receiving services through Lamar County Schools is considered part time. Certificates from the Mississippi Department of Health child care assistance program are also accepted. Fees are subject to change at the discretion of the IDS director and Lamar County advisory board.


Summer Camps 2014 Flyer (pdf)

Download an application
 (pdf) Note: Use this application for regular enrollment and summer camp enrollment.

Letter to the Parents (pdf)


Parent's Handbook 2013-2014 (pdf) 

Early Connections Children's Center is operated by the Lamar County School District and The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies, Mississippi's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service.