Children & Youth

Each day, hundreds of children ages 3- to 5-years-old attend our School Readiness programs in Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, and Waterbury. Catholic Charities also provides an Early Head Start program for infants and toddlers at two locations in Hartford, infant and toddler care in Waterbury, Youth Development programs for adolescents in New Haven, and a scholarship program affiliated with Catholic high schools.

Being there for children and youth also means being there for parents and other caretakers. Our programs include comprehensive wraparound services, including family literacy, well-child screenings, parent education and support programs, and more.

Our Early Head Start program for infants and toddlers in Hartford is now enrolling!

Children from birth to age 3 who are from families with incomes below the poverty guidelines are eligible for Early Head Start services. Children from families that are homeless and/or families receiving public assistance such as TANF or SSI are also eligible.

Early Head Start is a comprehensive program, encouraging parent involvement through regular visits to the home, regular opportunities for parents to volunteer, and special activities. Early Head Start promotes the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers through safe and developmentally enriching care-giving.

Interested in joining our Early Head Start program? Call Maria Franco today at (860) 934-8047, or you can reach out directly to each of our two Hartford locations (see phone numbers below) to learn more.

You can also get started by filling out our intake form here, and emailing it to Maria Franco at

Interested in learning more about our School Readiness programs for preschoolers? It isn’t too late to enroll your child!

  • Full-day year-round program for 3-to-5-year-old children
  • Safe place for children to learn and grow – COVID-19 precautions in place
  • Tuition based on each family’s ability to pay
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snack served daily at no cost to families
  • State-licensed and NAEYC accredited (National Association for the Education of Young Children)
  • Program promotes children’s language, cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development
  • Curriculum designed to prepare your child for Kindergarten success


Paraiso Infantil, 45 Wadsworth Street & 53 Wadsworth Street – Olga Toledo, (860) 524-6853, x. 221

SS Cyril & Methodius, 35 Groton Street & 45 Groton Street – Destiny Ramos, (860) 206-9265


St. Stanislaus, 81 Akron Street – Thelma Cruz, (203) 238-0845

New Haven

Centro San Jose, 290 Grand Avenue – Maria Franco, (203) 777-6771

Child Development Center, 790 Grand Avenue – Catalina Londono, (203) 772-1131

St. Francis & St. Rose of Lima, 423 Ferry Street – Martha Canas, (203) 691-1538


Child Development Center, 965 South Main Street – Jessica Nieves, (203) 346-1301

Programs for Children

Catholic Charities operates full-day, full-year School Readiness programs for 3- to 5-year-olds in Hartford, Meriden, New Haven, and Waterbury. The goal of School Readiness is to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and succeed.

Our Child Development Center on South Main Street in Waterbury provides nurturing and educational care for infants and children from the age of 6 weeks to 3-years-old.

Our School Readiness and Infant & Toddler Care programs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which means they meet the most rigorous national standards in education, health, and safety.

There is no income limit to qualify. Each program operates on a sliding fee scale based on family income.

Youth Development Programs

Our Centro San Jose Family Center in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven provides comprehensive services for young people, with a focus on academics, leadership, employment skills training, civic engagement, and social development.

This program includes a competitive basketball team in an alternative league associated with New Haven Public Schools. Students receive tutoring and are required to maintain a minimum GPA to remain on the team.

Matthew 25 Scholars Program

Matthew 25 assists high school students from Hartford or East Hartford who have been accepted for enrollment at Northwest Catholic or East Catholic. The program fosters educational and social success through financial assistance with books, uniforms, and referrals for basic needs.