Early Childhood & School Based Services
Southwest Early Learning Communities
Our Southwest Early Learning Communities (ELC) program is located at three different sites in Detroit. All sites provide an ongoing quality improvement program for early care and education providers. Parents, kinship caregivers, care providers and early childhood professionals can attend trainings and use the lending library on site. Consultants are available to help licensed centers, family homes and kinship care homes through assessment of the childcare environment and support with licensing requirements.



Southwest Early Learning Communities (ELC) provide free training and resources to parents and caregivers so that they can prepare children to be “ready to learn” when the children enter school. The ELC hub:

  • Promotes child development and early literacy
  • Provides a safe, inviting space to learn new techniques and network with peers
  • Mentors and supports parents, family members, friends and neighbors who care for young children
  • Gives lessons in health, safety, nutrition, conflict resolution, child development, and learning through play
  • Includes a lending library that offers educational materials that can be taken home
  • Provides incentives and free childcare for those attending the training sessions

The sessions are conducted in both English and Spanish. Free trainings are available during the day or the evening, allowing participants to find a time that suits their schedule.

The Larkins ELC is located at 5675 Larkins Street, 48210 (former convent of St. Andrew Church). ELC events are offered in English and Spanish. The phone number is 313.285.9323.

The Maybury ELC is located in Maybury Elementary at 4410 Porter Street Detroit, MI 48209. ELC events are offered in Spanish.

To learn more about the Southwest ELC program, contact Emma Herdean at 313-896-2800 x.6437 or email her.  Interested caregivers may arrange to visit our centers.


Developmental screenings:

Regular developmental screening in the early years makes sure that children are on track, and helps identify areas where additional support may be needed. Families with children between the ages of 2 months and 5 years of age residing in Wayne County can complete a FREE Ages and Stages (ASQ-3) developmental screening. It only takes  a few minutes to complete and a developmental screening specialist will follow up with an individualized email to offer supports and resources. Click on the link below to get started now!





Our Early Childhood & Family Literacy main office is located at 7060 McGraw Street, Detroit, MI 48210 (in the former rectory of St. Andrew Church). For more information about any of our programs and how to enroll, please contact us at 313.896.2800 or email us.




  • Our Early Learning Communities (ELC) hubs registered 4799 participants and provided training and support to 2303 parents and childcare providers, impacting 7,250 children (birth to kindergarten) in 2013
  • 80 caregivers reached Level 10 (the highest recognized level) in our ELC program in 2013
  • Provided 922 ELC events to promote healthy early childhood development (ECD) (including ECD, play and learn groups, nutrition and healthy lifestyle series, various workshops, network meetings, parent café sessions and family events)
  • Our ELCs have participated in two world-record breaking events involving reading and fitness
  • Our Southwest ELC hub is an endorsed Great Start Regional Center
  • Research shows that ELCs enhance the cognitive development of children
  • Significant increase in parental participation among families served in our programs

We know that the majority of development occurs before a child enters school, which means he or she must be exposed to educational opportunities from birth. In fact, studies have shown that children who can’t read by the first grade will spend their lifetimes catching up. Our ELC program supports parental and caregiver efforts to help their children gain the right skills for school. Whether the caregiver is a parent, grandmother, aunt, neighbor or professional childcare provider, our ELC provides additional resources for free to ensure that children start school prepared and ready to learn.

The Southwest ELC program is funded by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and:

Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start to Quality.


In partnership with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and ECIC, Detroit Public Television (DPTV) has produced 41 one-minute video vignettes that focus on the importance of early childhood learning and encourage parents and caregivers to take advantage of ELC programs in metro Detroit. Each vignette provides tips on positive ways to interact with children to stimulate their interest in learning and promote healthy development. At the end of each vignette, viewers are invited to contact 211 for more information about early childhood development and ELC programs. The vignettes appear on DPTV's new channel (56.2) and will be distributed to many outlets - such as hospitals, doctors' offices, Department of Human Services' offices - where parents, caregivers and families would have opportunities to see them. Click here for a list of links to the 41 vignettes.


Early Childhood & School Based Sevices

Southwest ELC

Early Head Start

Great Parents, Great Start

Early Childhood Mental Health

English Language Learners

Birth to Five