Early Learning Opportunities

Most of a child’s brain development happens between birth and age 3. As a parent or caregiver there are ways to help your child grow and learn. United Way’s 2-1-1 would like to share a few free resources that can help.

The LENA Start Marathon County is a 13-week free program focusing on helping families and caregivers improve early language interaction with their children (ages birth to 32 months) using a LENA “talk pedometer” device. Children wear the LENA device in a vest pocket designed to track language and word exposure. Trained professionals are able to analyze the language data, share results with families and suggest ways to improve verbal interaction with their children.

  • Location Sites:

Marathon County Public Library Wausau Headquarters, 300 N. 1st St., Wausau, WI. Thursdays, starting September 13th at 5:30pm – 6:30pm Dinner served at 5pm.  Children are welcome.  Childcare available.

Barrington Head Start Center, 616 Grant St., Wausau, WI. Tuesdays, starting September 11th at 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Dinner served at 5pm.  Children are welcome.  Childcare available.

Northcentral Technical College, 1000 W. Campus Dr., Wausau, WI. Thursdays, September 13th at 12 noon – 1pm. Lunch served during session.  Children are welcome.  Childcare available.

North Central Health Care, 1100 Lake View Dr., Wausau, WI. Wednesdays, September 12th 12 noon – 1pm. Lunch served during session.  Parents only.  Childcare is not available.

  • Eligibility: Open to all families and caregivers with children ages birth to 32 months.
  • Intake Process: Registration is required. To register, call Nicole Tank at 715-848-1457, or email ntank@chw.org, or text 715-660-0397
  • Cost: Sessions, childcare, material books/supplies/devices, and snacks/meals are free for all LENA Start families.

RaiseGreatKids.org offers information for parents and caregivers to help in the growth and learning of their child during the early years.  Visit other pages while you’re here, for local events, safety videos and more.

For additional information on early childhood resources, or other health and human service resources, simply dial 2-1-1 to speak with an Information Specialist, 24/7. You can also reach United Way’s 2-1-1 by dialing 715-848-2255 or 1-800-922-5590. Language interpreter service is available if needed. Uncomfortable speaking by phone? Email an Information Specialist at askus@unitedwaymc.org, or search the online resource database or view publications at www.unitedwaymc.org/get-help.