What is CEO’s Babies in Waiting program?
The Babies in Waiting (BIW) program, is part of CEO’s Early Head Start services. It helps support expectant mothers as they navigate the period leading up to the baby’s birth. Our BIW Coordinator helps the mother navigate her pregnancy including: making doctor’s appointments, reviewing fetal development, providing emotional support, setting up a birth plan, preparing for the baby, and planning for the baby’s education.
CEO can accept up to 19 expectant mothers, so the attention is really very focused on the mothers in the program. Mothers can be located throughout Rensselaer County, and can be on-boarded into the program up to eight months pregnant.
After the mother has her baby, BIW helps transition the mother to home-based or center-based programming. The baby is already enrolled in the program and can transition to one of the other facets of CEO’s Early Childhood Services programs easily.
“The Babies in Waiting program is great because it is never too early to begin your child’s education and start planning for their future. It is rewarding to be part of each family’s experience through their prenatal journey, “says Cindy Randall, BIW Coordinator.
How does Babies in Waiting work with other programs like WIC?
BIW collaborates with WIC and can help with referrals to other programs as needed (internally: The Food Pantry, Community Connections, etc. and externally to other organizations).
BIW accepts referrals from WIC, and sends along referrals as well. Since both programs are operated by CEO, this is a seamless process.
How has it looked different since the COVID-19 Pandemic?
BIW is doing zoom or virtual home visits at the moment to stay compliant with current CDC recommendations.
Normally monthly socializations would typically be hosted at a center, but now they are all through Zoom. In some ways that makes these gatherings more accessible now, since transportation, weather, and other barriers to attendance have been removed. It’s a great opportunity for mothers in our program to connect with other expecting mothers.
What should an expecting mother know about applying for BIW?
BIW follows the income eligibility guidelines that Head Start and Early Head Start follow, and proof of residency is also required; the application process is simple.
Interested applicants can apply through our website, or get in contact with our Babies in Waiting Coordinator, Cindy Randall (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they need assistance filling out the application or have questions.