MCAA is now offering the Teaching our Toddlers (TOTS) program to eligible families in Manatee County.
What is TOTS?
The TOTS program provides parents of young children the tools needed to support early learning. Through home visits conducted twice a month by trained home visitors, parents receive instruction on the delivery of the TOTS curriculum.
Why is early learning important?
Early learning builds the structure of the brain when most neural pathways are developing and are most flexible. Neural connections form in young children with each word spoken, with each new experience, with the repetition of familiar experiences, and with strong emotional support. In the first three years of life, 85% of the brain structure is developed.
Experiences for young children are similar to turning on a light switch. The electrical connection from a switch to a lamp will turn the light on. Parents of young children are critically important in the process of flipping the switches that lead to brain growth. The more switches turned on by quality experiences in the early years, the stronger the developing brain.
What does it cost?
Eligible families receive the TOTS program at no cost. TOTS provides most of the material needed for the many activities; however, families may be asked to provide household items such as paper towel tubes, empty boxes, magazines, and other similar items.
How do I enroll in TOTS?
Complete the TOTS Interest Survey and a home visitor will contact you to discuss the program. The general components of eligibility include:
Family income not to exceed 200% of the federal poverty level at the time of enrollment
Family includes a toddler between the ages of 8 to 30 months
Family lives in zip code areas of 34221, 34203 or 34208 at the time of enrollment
Family agrees to participate in twice monthly home visits for instruction on the curriculum (approximately 1 hour)
Family agrees to commit to working with your toddler 15 to 20 minutes each day
Family must be willing to take credit for the great progress your toddler is making
If you are interested in more information, please fill out this inquiry form and submit it. A TOTS home visitor will contact you with more information about the program.