The Family Discovery Center (FDC) provides comprehensive adult education and child development services to families in Montgomery County with children ages six weeks through three years old, and pregnant women. Families who are eligible for services receive a placement exam, followed by an orientation and intake meeting. Individualized goals are established for each family, and our compassionate and dedicated team works with each family to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate services enabling our families to be self-sufficient and proficient English speakers.
While ESOL and child development are our main focus, we also offer classes on a variety of topics to meet the needs of our students. Topics can include cooking, stress management, career readiness, budgeting, distinguishing wants versus needs, mental health, and more. Our adult learners have access to computers so they can easily conduct research, create presentations, and learn real-world skills, such as resume writing, while in class.
Our compassionate and experienced child development staff use The Creative Curriculum to present age-appropriate instruction, and most learning happens through play. The Creative Curriculum is designed so that the children gain skills in all core areas of learning. We provide “homework” for our parents, encouraging them to work together with their children in fun and meaningful ways. We also provide books for the children to take home, encouraging a love for reading at a young age and preparing children for school.
Ways Families Can Receive Services
Our families have two options for services at the FDC – the center-based program and home-based services. Our Center is an enriching and supportive environment that promotes
We begin each day with a parent-child activity to encourage parents to be their child’s teacher. Then, while parents are in English as a Second Language (ESL) and other adult education classes, their young children spend time in the Exploration Station Child Development Center. We work hard to eliminate as many barriers to success as possible, and we provide transportation assistance as needed.
Our home-based program supports families who want additional help with parenting skills, providing weekly visits including a child development activity and case management services.
- ‘Parent as Teachers’ Activity: Our in-home interventionist presents a themed activity each week and works together with the parent and child(ren), coaching the parent to model the information for the child(ren). For example, a lesson may be on teaching the parent how to give their child choices as a way to help manage behavior.
- Case Management/Goal Setting: Our in-home interventionist and service coordinator
workwith each family, focusing on each family’s individual needs. Typically, goals include financial stability, mental health, school readiness, housing, and social services.
In addition, all participating families benefit from:
- Parenting classes
- Health education classes
- Monthly family field trips and educational outings
including:trips to nature centers, the National Zoo, museums, and more.
- We often take the Metro so that our families can learn how to use public transportation.