Serves: Preschoolers and Students ages 18-22 with special needs who have deferred their high school diploma.
The ESC offers multiple programs on the campuses at Columbus State Community College and The Ohio State University to create individualized transition plans for students and help them meet their career and lifestyle goals. Each program includes help with activities of daily living, hands-on experience at multiple work sites, on-campus, and in the community. They also host an Early Learning Peer Model Program with small group instruction for preschool-aged children. Find program details and application instructions online.
2080 Citygate Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43219
CML is an award-winning library and amazing resource in the community. With 23 locations throughout Franklin County, they provide a lot more than just books, including lots of free online resources, specialized programs, and community events.
Serves: Families with children under the age of 6, children with autism or developmental delays
Early childhood educational services for children including early childhood intervention, toddler classes, and home visits. Their preschool program serves a 50:50 ratio of children both with and without developmental delays, a research-based approach aimed at creating inclusive communities. The PLAY Project is an evidence-based, parent-implemented autism intervention for young children. The center also has educational resources for families, training opportunities for professionals, and community events. Find program and enrollment details online.
674 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Provides free information on childcare and early development for parents and caregivers; and professional support for childcare providers. They offer year-round parenting classes for parents with kids of all ages throughout Central Ohio, information about choosing quality childcare, family-focused kindergarten-readiness program, and resources for co-parenting.
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. Many libraries also offer group reading times for children, homework help, job and business help, fun events for all ages, and more. Librarians can often help you get connected to local resources in your community, even if they are not offered directly by the library. 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 and behavioral health 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: Varies per program, serves those from 6 weeks old up to 21 years old.
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 counseling programs; psychiatric services require referral through a Directions for Youth counselor.
Central Intake: (614) 294-2661
Provides wrap-around programming to support families overcoming or at-risk for homelessness. Case managers help families access stable housing, emergency rent and utility assistance, household and hygiene items. Education programs include SPARK for 3-4 year old children not enrolled in Pre-K to prepare for Kindergarten, and STEAM afterschool and summer programs for grades K-8 at Dowd Education Center.
Homeless Hotline (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 helpful information about behavior, development, care and education of infants in their first 3 years of life. Access free resources and articles to learn what to expect as your child grows, how to deal with challenging behaviors, and evidence-based parenting practices.