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A Great Start on a Lifetime of Learning

Andy Hart

February 18, 2010

CRT Early Care and Education programs have been a constant presence for new generations of Hartford residents since their inception more than 40 years ago. Developed by a team from Yale University, CRT’s Head Start programs go beyond the traditional preschool classroom to encompass family services, nutrition, health screenings, special needs services, literacy initiatives and case management for all of its families.

Our reach is great. Open to families of all income brackets, CRT Head Start programs are offered on a sliding-fee basis, providing both a top-quality preschool experience to families who may not otherwise be able to afford it and an affordable alternative to private preschools. Enrolling some 1,100 area children, CRT ECE programs serve more than 1 in 10 Hartford preschool-aged children each year (U.S. Census Bureau figures).

Using a state-of-the-art education curriculum endorsed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, students enrolled in CRT ECE programs are given the foundation to be successful in school and to lead productive lives. By providing dependable childcare and support services for working families, CRT allows parents to engage more productive work lives, increase income and improve their own parenting skills. In fact, Connecticut Commission on Children research shows that each dollar invested in preschool services yields nearly $19 in benefits over the subsequent two decades.

The past decade has seen a new era of CRT ECE programs. A movement to concentrate services in dedicated schools such as the 24-classroom Locust Street Center and eight-classroom Ritter Center on Windsor Street has allowed for better programs, larger playgrounds and other amenities, and improved services for families. Recently, CRT was able to respond to community requests for centers at the Hartford Job Corps and in the Sheldon Oaks neighborhood. Through its eight agency-operated sites as well as individual classrooms in select public schools throughout the city, CRT continues to serve local families while we explore new opportunities to prepare the city’s next generation of children to meet the challenges of the future.

CRT-operated Preschool Locations in Hartford

• Children’s Learning Center, 211 Laurel St.

• Douglas Street Center, 170 Douglas St.

• Grace Street Center, 37 Grace Street

• Heritage Child Development Center, 175 Enfield St.

• Job Corps, 100 William Campbell Blvd.

• Ritter Center, 555 Windsor St.

• Locust Street Center, 261 Locust St.

• Sheldon Oaks Center, 179 Van Block Ave.

Reprinted with permission of the The Hartford News.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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