ESSS Program

Early Steps to School Success

Parents play the most powerful and influential role in their children’s lives. As their children’s first and most important teacher they contribute to their child’s learning. Early education – starting with moms during pregnancy and following children from their first days to their first day at school – is a critical window to academic achievement. Research shows that learning begins long before a child enters kindergarten. Young children soak up words, rhymes, songs and images. Early Steps to School Success engages families in a variety of ways to enrich their children’s vocabulary and promote a love of reading.


  • Home visits conducted by early childhood coordinators. For ages 0-3, coordinators provide parents with age-appropriate activities for their children, help monitor developmental progress, and offer suggestions on how to interact with young children to promote early literacy.
  • Helping parents develop skills and strategies that support child development. Coordinators advise parents on topics such as establishing healthy sleeping routines, interpreting and responding to babies’ efforts to communicate, and helping toddlers develop self-control and problem-solving skills.
  • Book exchange program. Coordinators continue to foster a love of learning in children ages 3-5 with a book exchange program, supplying families with children’s books that encourage reading frequency, comprehension and parent-child interaction.
  • Fostering a positive connection between families and schools. To support a positive parent-school relationship for children prior to entering school, parent education groups meet at local schools to discuss early development topics.
  • “Transition to School” activities. Coordinators help children and families connect with teachers before the first day of preschool or kindergarten.

Who can participate in the program?

The program is open to all families in Palmetto, Ellenton and Parrish with children ages birth to two years of age. There is no charge for services. Spaces are limited so we encourage you to enroll today.

How can I enroll in the program?

To enroll in the Early Steps to School Success Program or to find out more information, contact Raquel Sanchez at (941) 757.2900 ext.245, (941) 524-9342, or complete the online interest form.

Save the Children website: