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 6 weeks to 5 years during the school day and children 6 weeks through 2nd grade after school and during the summer session.
Hours – Early Connections is open from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. for the full day children and 7:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. for half day, Monday through Friday. During the summer session, Early Connections operates a seven week summer program from 7:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Arrangements will be made for families who need extended hours.
Enrollment application fee - A $10 nonrefundable application fee is due at the time of application for each family. As space becomes available for your child, an additional $40 registration fee will be assessed.
Tuition – For the school year, fees are $100 per week for the school day program and $70 per week for the after school program. A discounted rate of $125 per week will be given to children who attend both the school day and after school programs. For the summer session, fees are $110 per week. Fees are assessed based on the number of days that Early Connections is open per month. Fees are charged whether or not the child is in attendance. We do offer a limited number of part-time slots based on availability, but prior arrangements must be made with the program coordinator. Scholarships and co-payments are available to those families who meet the qualifications for these services. Certificates from the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District are also accepted. Fees are subject to change at the discretion of the IDS director and Lamar County advisory board.
Summer Camp 2013 Flyer (pdf)
Download an application (pdf) Note: Use this application for regular enrollment and summer camp enrollment.
Letter to the Parents (pdf)
Handbook 2013 (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.