Originally published Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 05:57a.m.

KINGMAN – Children at least 2 years old by Aug. 1 will, for the first time this year, be able to participate in the Western Arizona Council of Governments’ Center Based Early Head Start.

“We’re a comprehensive early childhood education program,” said Deb Hanney, Head Start director for WACOG. “School readiness begins at birth. As soon as they’re born, they’re learning, their little brains are observing all kinds of information.”

Kids will engage in pre-math, science exploration, language development, pre-reading and other hands-on activities.

“A lot of the reason we do Early Head Start is that research has shown that children who have disabilities or delays, if they’re caught and discovered early enough and the interventions are given early enough, many of these children by the time they reach kindergarten don’t need those special supports anymore,” Hanney said.

Tina Zerkle, program assistant at WACOG, said the program that focuses on school readiness has been available in Bullhead City and is being expanded this year to Kingman because the council of governments recognizes there is a need.

“Previously it’s been for 3- and 4- and 5-year-olds, we did offer early head start in Bullhead City, but it’s just something that’s never been offered in Kingman before,” she said.

There is no deadline to apply for the school for 2-year-olds, and applications are accepted throughout the year. While anyone can apply at any time, those who submit applications may be placed on a waiting list.

WACOG is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year for the Early Head Start program, as well as for the 3- and 4-year-olds’ program. Applications can be picked up at the WACOG office, 208 N. Fourth St. Contact 928-758-3926 with questions or for more information.

Information provided by the Western Arizona Council of Governments