Increasing education for homeless kids

Child Development Centers Expand Reach

High-quality early childhood education is a critical component of the Center’s two-generation approach to helping people move from poverty to independence. That’s why our three child development centers go far beyond just providing daycare and focus instead on whole child development.

We recently got results from the last school year, and they are impressive. Almost all – 90% – of the children in our program exceeded standard expectations in literacy, social/emotional development, and cognitive development. Plus, we are thrilled to report that 100% of our 4- and 5-year-old children demonstrated “kindergarten readiness,” which means they meet or exceeded expectations in ALL the learning categories: social/emotional, physical motor skills, language, cognitive, literacy and math.

Here’s even more good news. Due to last year’s success, this school year the Center will be able to provide this outstanding early childhood education to twice as many homeless and impoverished children.

The Center for Transforming Lives was recently awarded a second Early Head Start (EHS) grant from the U.S. Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families. The two EHS grants fund program operations, teacher training, and technical assistance for approximately 144 at-risk children, 6-weeks to 3-years-old. Program expansion is expected to begin September 1.

This grant directly supports the most vulnerable segments of our community – children from homeless or impoverished families, ensuring they will get the care and education they need. Our leadership team is relieved that we found a way to serve more of these at-risk children. However, this government grant isn’t without a cost to the Center. The EHS funds cover only 79% of the actual costs of the programming, leaving the Center responsible for raising the remaining dollars -- $646,560 annually.

While this deficit is sobering and the burden heavy, I remember the little lives whose futures are in the balance. I remain optimistic that Fort Worth will rise to the challenge of ensuring our youth will be successful in school and life.

If you have any questions or would like more information on this vital program, please contact me at

About the author:

The Center for Transforming Lives' CEO, Carol Klocek, provides strategic leadership for all programs in alignment with the mission to move women, children, and families from poverty to independence. Ms. Klocek has more than 25 years of results-oriented nonprofit management experience, all within human service organizations, and holds master's degrees in social work from University of Texas at Arlington and a master's in business from Texas Christian University. Carol has been with the CTL 8 years.

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