Porter-Leath to help prepare more children for success with new Early Head Start center

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Local nonprofit Porter-Leath is getting ready to serve 160 more at-risk young children and their families in its Early Head Start program after receiving federal funding in December from the Administration for Children and Families.

Early Head Start is a federal program that supports little ones from high-risk and low-income families from birth to age three. It provides early child development, health screenings, meals, disability services and mental health support to help get them ready to start school. Families also receive support through a service worker.

The grant gives Porter-Leath $1.8 million per year for five years, totaling about $9 million.

Porter-Leath’s vice president for development and new business, Mike Warr, told WREG in December that this expansion to Early Head Start will make for stronger students in classrooms in the future.

Local childcare centers Goodwill Homes Community Service Inc., University Prep School, South Parkway East Kiddie Learning Center and Southwest Tennessee Community College – Union Avenue Campus will join with Porter-Leath to support the new influx of infants and toddlers starting in October. Porter-Leath will also create a new Early Head Start center Sept. 7 at 1940 S. Lauderdale St.

Porter-Leath currently has 399 families enrolled in its Early Head Start program. And demand is high — the nonprofit received more than 100 applications for only 64 slots in its new center, Warr said.