Our mission is to educate and care for children with special needs and medical conditions alongside their typically developing peers in inclusive environments and support their families.
Founded in 1957, First Steps strives to nurture the whole person in an inclusive environment and see everyone as having the potential to succeed. Our vision is to:
First Steps is celebrating its 60th year of providing individualized education, child development, and therapy to children in the Nashville community, including those who have been turned away from other programs due to the severity of their health issues, medical needs or limited resources.
Whether we are providing individualized preschool instruction in our child development center or supporting families in the home through our community outreach program, our philosophy is the same — we never underestimate a child.
Partnering with Parents
We recognize that no one knows children better than their parents. That’s why we involve parents in every aspect of our work.
Our preschool teachers are more effective when parents share insights with them about their children, participate in activities at our child development center and reinforce learning and development at home. Through the Parents Portal on this Web site, we share information on our curriculum and activities. We encourage feedback and suggestions.
Additionally, our First Steps’ Parent Connection Committee is made up with parents who work directly with us to ensure our programs meet the needs of families and the community. For more information, contact Stephanie Underwood, (615) 690-3091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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2016-2017 Board of Directors
Holly Poff, President
Wil Caldwell, Vice President
Phil Groves, Treasurer & Finance Chair
David Wedemeyer, Secretary
Dr. Carolyn Thompson
Dr. Travis Walters
Benefits of Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education is recognized as playing an integral part in a child’s development and future success.
Increase in Vocabulary Development and Cognitive Abilities
Early childhood education helps children increase their vocabulary by familiarizing them with words and their meanings. According to Rand Corporation Research, early education has lasting benefits, showing increases in IQ levels and cognitive abilities (i.e. understanding both concrete and abstract thought).
Behavioral and Social Improvements
Children exposed to early childhood education can be more prepared to interact with adults and other children and understand what is socially appropriate in the home, classroom and public places.
Economic Benefits for the Community
According to Legal Momentum’s Family Initiative and the MIT Workplace Center, early childhood education not only directly benefits the child and immediate family, but the community at large. Children who are educated early are less likely to need special education and more likely to finish high school and go to college. All this adds to the economic vitality of the workforce and the health of the community at large. In fact, studies show that every dollar invested in early education generates $7 in the future.