Home Of Guiding Hands

Early Childhood Development

Through our Early Childhood Developmental Services Program (ECDS), we provide supportive therapeutic and educational early intervention for children, ages 0-3, who are at risk for developmental delays or who may be diagnosed with a developmental disability in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Credentialed teachers provide one-to-one services in a child’s home or other natural environments. Our program provides age-appropriate educational services and therapeutic interventions using evidence-based practices that benefit:

  • Cognitive and Physical Development
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Adaptive (Self-Help) Development
  • Behavior Management

We partner with parents to provide optimal care for infants and families because parents and caregivers possess an unparalleled knowledge of a child’s unique attributes and needs. Our approach is family-centered, relationship-based, culturally responsive, and tailored to each child.

Under the umbrella of ECDS lies our Infant Development Assessment (IDA) program – a broad-based, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, family oriented developmental assessment.  We evaluate children from four months to three years of age for the purpose of establishing eligibility for CA Early Start services.

  • Assessments are conducted in the family’s home
  • Evaluators have extensive pediatric experience
  • Bilingual evaluators
  • Flexible hours for families
  • Our staff are highly trained in the areas of cognitive, speech, gross/fine motor, and social/emotional development

In conjunction with ECDS, we provide:

Parent Play Group

Play is the key method in which children learn about the world they live in. Playgroups provide an ideal environment for fostering children’s development through play. The HGH playgroups provide opportunities for parents to bring their children to a nurturing setting where support and friendship grow out of monthly conversations with other parents and facilitating teachers, while babies and toddlers explore their world through play. The HGH playgroups also provide education to parents on various child development topics as well as community resources.

Curriculum and activities include music, art, story time, sensory exploration, fine motor and gross motor activities.

Playgroups are FREE of charge to HGH program participants and available in two locations:

HGH Resource Center
Where: 1908 Friendship Drive, El Cajon, CA 92020 (Please enter @ the east side entrance of the building)
Dates:  Saturdays on 9/9/17 (due to Labor Day), 10/7/17, 11/4/17, 12/2/17
Time: 9:30-11:00 a.m.

Golden Steps Pediatric Therapy  – The North County Parent Play Group
Where: 4065 Oceanside Blvd, Suite J, Oceanside, CA 92056
First Thursday of every month
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Activities: Circle Time, Gross Motor Play, Fine Motor, Sensory Activities, Music, Parachute & Art.
Ages: Birth to 5 years old. Please feel free to bring siblings, if siblings are older than 5 years old, please bring appropriate activities for them to do during this time.

RSVP:  Moji Afcari, Infant Educator at (619) 937-1495 or moji@guidinghands.org

For more information on the HGH Playgroups, please contact Sara Barnett, M.A. Sp. Ed., Early Childhood Developmental Services at sarab@guidinghands.org or (619) 938-3057.


Home of Guiding Hands (HGH) provides superior quality Early Childhood education to promote strong development for children between the ages of 0 to 3. At the conclusion of services, once a child has reached their 3rd birthday, families often request a continuation of services in order to further enhance their child’s development.

In response, HGH now provides a Private Pay program called LINKages (linking infancy and toddlerhood to preschool readiness.) LINKages allows a family to continue working with their highly experienced Early Childhood Specialist for another two years (until age 5) in order to fully optimize their child’s development prior to entrance into a formal education setting.


  • Continuity of services provides stability of routine and further opportunity to scaffold children’s skills by varying interventions that are already established.
  • Child and family continue their established relationship which deepens over time and provides an excellent model for strong mental health.
  • Child will receive ongoing assessment and evaluation with written annual and semi-annual reports provided.
  • The HGH Early Childhood Specialist becomes an expert on the whole child and is able to provide ongoing feedback to parents with regard to the child’s individualized needs.

How Does It Work?

  • Location(s): For 1:1 individual instruction, parents may opt to have HGH specialists work in the family home environment; in a daycare setting; or a preschool setting.
  • Location for the Group program – (1:3) various venues throughout the county. Groups may be “concentrated” or “mixed.” Concentrated groups focus on communication and language acquisition; or on social development. Mixed groups focus on all the –developmental domains in rotation (Language; Motor Skills; Social-Emotional Development; Self-Help Skills.)

For more information about the Early Childhood Development Program or LINKages program, please contact Sara Barnett, M.A. Sp. Ed., Early Childhood Developmental Services at sarab@guidinghands.org or (619) 938-3057.

Para más información sobre el programa para el desarrollo de la niñez en su etapa inicial o sobre el programa LINKages, comuníquese con la unidad de Early Childhood Development Services de la organización HGH al (619) 938-2850.