Learning Enhanced Attachment Based Preschool Program
The Learning-Enhanced Attachment-Based Preschool (LEAP) Program is a trauma-informed therapeutic pre-school classroom for children between the ages of 2.9 and 5 years who live in New Britain. LEAP represents a collaboration between Wheeler and the YWCA of New Britain and is located at the YWCA’s facility. Wheeler provides clinical services and program oversight, and the YWCA provides the program’s space and education staff. The LEAP Program is designed to work with young children who have experienced significant trauma; the primary goals are focus on healthy social, emotional, physical and cognitive development, as well as school readiness and parenting skills. Recognizing that family engagement provides the foundation for successful intervention, a multi-generational approach is utilized to help children thrive and increase caregiver capacity to provide a nurturing environment for the child’s growth and development. The LEAP Program’s child-centered and family-driven approach recognizes that each family presents for services with unique strengths, needs, values, and preferences. Families are empowered to actively participate in all aspects of their care.
The Wheeler clinician is trained in the evidence-based and trauma-informed Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) model as the primary intervention for young children and their families. This model is closely aligned with the Attachment, Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) Framework; together, these models focus on safety in relationships, affect regulation, making meaning of traumatic experiences, and integration of traumatic experiences. In addition, families are invited to participate in all services offered through the YWCA.
The Creative Curriculum is used by the program’s teacher to foster individualized instruction aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. This curriculum addresses the core areas of learning (including early literacy, math, social-emotional, technology, and the arts); links assessment to the curriculum; and offers best practice strategies to work effectively with English language learners and dual-language learners as well as children with disabilities. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is used to assess the quality of the classroom environment in three domains: emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support. The LEAP Program uses this tool to guide the organization of the classroom schedule and environment in ways that support learning needs for program children.
Department of Children and Families