Officials at Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Okinawa District will carry out Sure Start Program home visits Jan. 31-Feb. 4; DODDS-Japan District schools will do the same Feb. 9-11, a DODDS-Pacific spokesman said Friday.

There will be no school for Sure Start pupils on those days, said Chip Steitz, a DODDS-Pacific spokesman.

The DODDS-Korea District schools operating Sure Start Programs have not finalized dates for the home visits, Steitz said.

“Sure Start offers a comprehensive approach to early childhood education that involves children, their families, the school and the community at large,” Steitz said.

The program is for command-sponsored, qualified 4-year-olds. To be enrolled, a child must turn 4 by Oct. 31 of the current school year, states the DODDS-Pacific Web Site.

Children qualify for Sure Start based on family dynamics that may put the child at risk, such as low birth weight, single-parent households, a parent on a long deployment or disabilities, the site states.

Children of servicemembers ranked E-1 through E-4 are considered a priority.

“The Sure Start program is a model school-readiness program for families living and working at military installations overseas,” Steitz said.

“Not every school has a Sure Start Program. Having Sure Start is determined by assessing the need based on the population of the base communities,” Steitz added.

Parents should call the school in their community to learn if a Sure Start Program is available, or call DODDS-Pacific at DSN 644-5657 for more information.

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