School
Readiness

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School
ReadinessBright Futures Start at Birth

School Readiness is a three-month program for families with young children based at the The Priority Center. The Priority Center works with families helping to support them in fostering a safe and nurturing home environment for children. The School Readiness program assists families in Orange County with children ages 0-8, in reducing barriers to medical care and early childhood mental health services in order to provide them with the healthiest start in life.

This program focuses on identifying developmental delays and behavioral issues at the earliest age possible and then links families to appropriate services and support. Our highly trained staff will screen your child in your home and work with your family to provide an individualized plan of services to meet any needs that are identified.

Our program has built relationships with early childhood care and education providers, pediatricians, and community- based organizations. We partner with each other to work with families of young children. The School Readiness program also works in collaboration with Help Me Grow and utilizes approaches developed by the Early Developmental Screening and Intervention (EDSI) initiative and the organization zero to three.

Services provided may include:

 

  • Discussion of needs and concerns related to early childhood development
  • Completion of an initial early childhood mental health assessment
  • Provision of referrals and linkages to support services (Counseling, Therapies for Developmental Disabilities, Specialty Services for Medical Concerns, Medi-Cal Enrollment, Other resources)
  • Short-term parenting education and support
  • Community trainings throughout Orange County that educate the community, parents, and professionals in identifying signs of emotional disturbance and behavioral conditions in children 0-8
  • Screenings related to achievement of developmental milestones

Some of the concerns addressed while working together may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

 

  • Changes or disturbances related to sleeping or eating
  • Difficulties managing emotions
  • Anxiety, including separation anxiety, school phobia, isolation from peers
  • Frequent or intense tantrums
  • Physical aggression- hitting, biting, kicking
  • Other behavioral issues not responsive to typical parent interventions
  • Difficulties in the parent-child relationship
  • Apparent lack of healthy social skills, difficulty relating to other children, obsessive play
  • Difficulties in school setting, interacting with peers, and/or demonstrating risk of school failure
  • Difficulties in adjusting to a family separation or divorce, move or other stressor

How a Child/Family Qualifies for Services

The School Readiness program works with families of children ages 0-8 who live in Orange County. The School Readiness program is funded by the Orange County Health Care Agency using Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), Prop. 63 funds. As such, services are provided at no cost to you and your family. Services are provided in English, Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, and other languages.

What to Expect During a Home Visit

During a home visit, your family can expect to feel comfortable, supported and informed. Our team assesses each child’s social/emotional and developmental health in order to identify opportunities for support towards a brighter future.

After the initial evaluation is complete, the Mental Health Worker will provide you feedback related to the findings and recommend services, if necessary, to address any needs identified in the assessment. If your family moves forward with the services, a Mental Health Worker will continue to work with you and your child.

A Mental Health Worker will meet with you and your child at home or another place of
your choosing and will:

 

  • Complete a comprehensive Initial child and family Needs Assessment (INA)
  • Administer a set of screening tools depending on the age of your child. Screenings may include the Ages & Stages Questionnaire-3 (ASQ-3), the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE2), the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI), the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS), and/or other appropriate tools.
  • Provide referrals to appropriate agencies ( i.e. Primary Care Physician, Regional Center, School District, Connect the Tots, or Other Specialist)
  • Recommend short-term parenting support utilizing a structured, evidence-based
    program, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program)
  • Follow-up to ensure successful linkages to community referrals provided
  • With your permission, communicate with any providers you and your child are already working with (such as their primary care physician, pre-school/school teacher or other) to ensure effective collaboration in addressing your child’s and family’s needs

Partner with Us

For Families

To refer your child to the School Readiness program, click on the Enroll Now button below to complete the form, contact us via phone at 1-855-955-5092 or via email at [email protected] You will receive a return call to schedule an initial assessment at your earliest convenience.

For Providers

To refer a child to the School Readiness program, you may either direct a family to self-refer, or submit a referral on their behalf, by clicking on the Enroll Now button below. The family will receive a call to schedule an initial assessment with one of our team members. If we receive permission from our enrolled participant families to communicate with you, we will work to effectively collaborate with you to address the areas of concern.

Community Trainings

To request a Community Training for parents or professionals working with children 0-8, please contact our Program Director Karla Miranda at [email protected] or at 714-955-6581. Topics may include, but are not limited to: Social-Emotional Development in Children, The Power of Positive Parenting, Raising Confident Competent Children, Raising Resilient Children, Dealing with Disobedience, Managing Fighting and Aggression, Developing Good Bedtime Routines, and Hassle-Free Shopping with Children. Community Trainings can be provided in English, Spanish, Arabic, or Vietnamese.

For more information about our program, or to explore ways that we can partner together in serving families with young children, please contact 714-955-5602.

Community Partners

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapter 4
  • Connect the Tots
  • Families Forward
  • Help Me Grow
  • Human Options
  • MOMS Orange County
  • NAMI OC
  • Olive Crest
  • Orange County Housing Authority
  • Pretend City
  • Regional Center of Orange County
  • SAUSD Family and Community Engagement
  • Social Services Agency