Family Resources

ECDC’s Tax ID Number: 35-1188922

Weather/Emergency Closures

How ECDC Communicates Weather or Emergency Closings, Late Starts and Early Closings –
ECDC uses REMIND to text parents about emergency situations such as emergency closing due to hazardous weather. In addition to REMIND, ECDC posts emergency closings on WNDU and Facebook and sends an email to all families. Please see the REMIND instructions to sign up for text messaging.

How ECDC Promotes Readiness for School and Beyond
ECDC School Readiness Booklet
After ECDC – School Options

Car Seat Safety Program 
Memorial Children’s Hospital, Leighton Trauma Center and The South Bend Fire Department offer certified staff, Child Passenger Safety Technicians, which will teach you to correctly install and use your child safety seats according to safety guidelines and the law. More information HERE.

US Consumer Product Safety Commission
CPSC Website

Community Resources

The ECDC program staff maintains a list of community resources as an ongoing effort to provide families with information to better meet their needs and enhance the services provided by the ECDC program. Select a heading below for more information.

Medical Care in our Community

Oral Health, Nutrition, Health

Dr. John Rice, MD  (ECDC consulting physician)

Dr. Deanna O’Neil, R DDS  (ECDC consulting dentist)

Children’s Dispensary (resource Center for children with special needs)

Logan Center (Resource for people with disabilities)

IN Source (Indiana resource center for families with special needs)

Hearing and Speech Center at United Health Services

Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic at Saint Mary’s College

Sonya Ansari Autism Learning Center

Mental Health & Parenting Programs

Sharon Bain, LCSW
Family/Child/Play Therapist

Dr. John Petersen, Psy.D. (clinical psychologist)

Oaklawn (residential and out-patient mental health services)

Samaritan Counseling Center (family and individual counseling)

Basic Needs

(Child Welfare, Child Care Subsidy, Child Care Referrals, Housing)
Child Protective Services

Child Care Resource & Referral Agency

Housing Authority of the City of South Bend (public housing)

Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Child Care Voucher Program

On My Way Pre-K (child care assistance for families of 4 year olds)

Early Intervention-Special-Education Screening & Assessment

First Steps of North East Indiana (Serving Children with special needs ages 0-3)

Hearing and Speech Center at United Health Services

Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic at Saint Mary’s College

South Bend Community Schools – SNAP (Serving eligible children with special needs ages 3, 4 and 5 residing in the SBCSC district)

P-H-M (Offers free speech and language screenings for three, four, and five-year old children who reside within the school district’s boundaries.)

Penn Harris Madison Exceptional Education Division (Offers many programs and services)

Beacon Children’s Hospital (Children’s Therapy Center, speech/language occupational and physical)

St. Joseph Regional Medical Center (Pediatric Therapy, speech/language, occupational and physical)

Family Enrichment

Brain Train – A family-friendly, supportive play environment to promote healthy brain development in children up to age five.

St. Joseph County Public Library

Mishawaka Public Library

Kidsfirst Children’s Museum at the History Museum

Bellaboos Play and Discovery Center
Lake Station, IN

Curious Kids’ Museum & Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone
St. Joseph, Michigan

South Bend Parks

Mishawaka Parks

St. Joe County Parks Programs & Events

Compton Family Ice Arena

Kroc Center

The South Bend Museum of Art offers art classes for children

Barnes and Noble has weekly story and activity times

Supportive Services and Referrals to Special Services

Speech, Language and Hearing Screenings
Speech and Language Screenings are provided once per year during fall semester by the Saint
Mary’s College Speech and Language graduate students who also provide speech and language
therapy at the ECDC program sites during the school year under the supervision of SMC faculty
members. This screening is available during school hours to children whose parents have indicated a desire for such. Parents are notified of these screenings by parent permission letters. A child will not be screened without written permission from the parent.

P-H-M offers free speech and language screenings for three, four, and five-year old children who reside within the school district’s boundaries.

Special Services to Support Development and Learning
ECDC works in partnership with First Steps and the South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC) to meet the needs of children with special learning or development needs. Preschool age children who reside in the SBCSC, if deemed appropriate during the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) Conference, can receive therapies at ECDC through SBCSC, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Children who live in Mishawaka or Penn Harris Madison (PHM) School Corporation receive therapies at their specific school with a program entitled Joint Services. Children who are younger than age three who are eligible for special services may receive such services through First Steps at ECDC. If a child’s development suggests that an evaluation would be helpful to determine if special services would be beneficial, ECDC teachers and/or program administrator meet with the individual child’s family to discuss concerns. Then, if the family agrees to an evaluation, a referral for such will be made to First Steps, SBCSC, or Joint Services.

Family Resource Consultant and Child and Family Support Specialist
ECDC partners with a licensed social worker who provides our families with topical parenting sessions entitled “Conversations about Everyday Life with Children.” These regular parenting enrichment meetings are offered during the school year on topics such as ECDC’s approach to child guidance, sibling rivalry, bedtime routines, mealtime routines, and supporting very active children. Information about these small group conversations is provided to families throughout the school year.

In addition, ECDC has a partnership with LOGAN Community Resources, Inc. Logan provides the services of a behavioral specialist to ECDC to support teachers in their work assisting children with social and emotional development struggles/delays and behavior challenges. Please contact an ECDC program director or the executive director for more information about the behavioral specialist’s services at ECDC.

These professionals assist the teachers and program staff with making referrals to community screenings and evaluations to determine how best we can support the child’s holistic growth, development and learning in addition to accessing therapies to provide individualized support.


Parent Support Groups

There are several parent groups in the area eager to welcome new parents as they network and support each other.

These groups provide a great opportunity to share information and experiences. The contact persons listed will be able to give you complete information on meeting dates, times, and locations.

Autism Family Support Group
(Autistic Spectrum Disorders)
Dan Ryan – (574) 289-4831

Down Syndrome Family Support Group

Shelly Schultz – (574) 674-6769

Epilepsy Services Support Group
Sue Bowlin – (574) 647-7639

Learning Disabilities/Attention Deficit Parent Group
Kathy Klawiter – (574) 272-3699

Starting Small an Early Childhood Parent Group
Kristin Kern – (574) 254-7764

There is also a statewide resource called Family To Family. This group assists parents of children with special needs, ages birth to eight, by offering information resources, and connections to families throughout the state.

For more information, contact Shelly Shultz, the Regional Coordinator, at (574) 674-6769 or join the online network by sending an e-mail to:

Resources to Promote Development and Learning