Provides child care and early learning information free of charge for parents and caregivers; and provide professional support to child care providers. They also offer year-round parenting classes for parents with kids of all ages throughout Central Ohio, provide information about choosing quality child care, help people who operate home-based childcare, and offer a family-focused kindergarten-readiness program.
Early learning resources are provided by the AAP to assist physicians in promoting, helping and guiding parents and caregivers on the importance of early learning, talking and reading for infants and toddlers. This toolkit also shares parent resources to help families learn ways to introduce and explore early learning and reading at home.
AAP Books Build Connections Toolkit
Visit your local library to get access to free books, music, movies and documentaries. Some of the libraries listed will also have group reading times for children, homework help, job and business help, and fun events for people of all ages and more. Contact your local library to confirm what services they are currently offering.
Provides high quality early learning so that children are ready for Kindergarten and can achieve school success. CELC Centers are rated 5 Stars in the Step Up to Quality Rating System. They offer a home visiting program as well, which provides free books and toys for families with children ages 16 months through 4 years. They offer center-based care for families with children ages 6 weeks through 5 years. CELC also provides expectant parents and parents of newborns support through the Healthy Families America program. They have multiple locations throughout Columbus.
Program: Offers youth and their families mental, emotional and behavioral health programs and services. Licensed social workers and counselors provide counseling and clinical treatment programs addressing a range of issues including school concerns, sexual abuse, delinquency, domestic violence, family conflict, substance abuse and mental health issues. They also offer parenting classes, free kindergarten readiness programs and after-school and summer programs at their two youth centers.
Eligibility: ages (from 6 weeks old up to 21 years old) vary per program
Cost: government insurance (Medicaid, Molina, Caresource), private insurance and self-pay (sliding scale fees based on income); most programs are free
Referral: individuals may refer themselves or be referred by someone else for the counseling programs; for psychiatric services they need to be referred through a Directions for Youth counselor
Intake: (614) 294-2661
Serves children and their families living in poverty, helping them to get housing and resources, while providing educational after-school/summer programming and support for kids grades K-8. They also host Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) a program for three and four-year-old children, not enrolled in Pre-K, who will soon enter Kindergarten.
33 North Grubb Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Homeless & Emergency Shelter: (614) 274-7000
A free program to help your child get ready for kindergarten. The SPARK Program will come to you at your home or a location of your choice. They will work with you and your child to learn new words, letter sounds, read books, learn to write and do preschool math. This program is for a child who will start kindergarten in the Fall. Visit the website for eligibility information, additional contact information and application information.
Provides information, resources and services related to early learning and school readiness. Also, licenses preschool programs and school-age child care operated by schools and educational centers.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Helps parents understand what children are expected to learn in school and how to help them succeed, so families can choose a school for their child, get involved in their child’s learning and get information about learners with special needs and talents.
Learn about Ohio kindergarten requirements, entrance dates, how to request early admission and view their readiness checklist.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Provides free books to children from birth to age 5. Through the partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, you can sign up to get a free book very month for your child. The sign-up process is very easy, and can be done with just some basic information. Visit the website to enroll in the program.
Click to enroll: ohioimaginationlibrary.org
Offers providers and parents resources to help children thrive and deal with some common issues that affect children’s lives. Explore topics related to health and wellness, social-emotional skills, and school readiness.