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Early Childhood Programs

The first five years of life are a critical time of development—especially social/emotional development which is a key foundation block for early learning. Through its partnerships with 30 early childhood centers, Alternatives supports the social/emotion development of young children by providing visual art instruction, teacher training, and curriculum resources to center staff.

Teachers and students after an Al's Pals curriculum session with Alternatives Inc in Hampton, VA.jpg
Al's Pals

Kids Making Heathy Choices

Al's Pals is a  nationally recognized curriculum that includes easy-to-implement lesson plans, puppets, music, role play, brainstorming, storytelling, and other interactive approaches. Children who participate in Al’s Pals are 2-5 times more likely to demonstrate pro-social skills than children who do not participate in Al’s Pals. This project is also coordinated with early childhood nonprofit First Spark and the state's VQB5 quality rating and improvement initiative for early childhood programs.


  • Beginnings Academy of Learning

  • Bethel CDC

  • Bethel-Manor Elementary School

  • Bob and Jean Russ CDC

  • Children of the Village

  • Denbigh Christian Academy

  • Eagles Nest

  • Hampton University CDC

  • Hidenwood Presbyterian

  • Arms of the King

  • Joint Base Langley/Eustis – Madison

  • Joint Base Langley/Eustis – Pershing

  • Little Tin Soldiers

  • New Mount Olive Christian Academy

  • Peake Childhood Center

  • Tom and Ann Hunnicutt YMCA

  • HRCAP – Newport News

  • HRCAP – Mallory

  • HRCAP – Portsmouth

Children in a crowd listening to a speaker through Alternatives Inc in Hampton, VA


Alternatives, Inc,. will provide training and technical assistance to community, faith, and military based centers to assess organizational practices and improve nutrition and physical activity of children. HCAT aims to formalize the structure of the early childhood network to improve opportunities for healthy foods and physical activity for children 2-8 and institutionalize changes in policy and practice.



Examples will include training in best practices of nutrition and physical activity, creating center policy to promote healthy snacks and celebrations, examining current menus to support better nutrition, role modeling, and how to increase physical activity in the classroom.


  • Agape Learning Center

  • Bob and Jean Russ CDC

  • HRCap Head Start – Newport News

  • Hampton University CDC

  • New Mount Olive Christian Academy

  • Peak Childhood Center

  • Six House

  • Tick Tock Around the Clock

  • Warwick Kids Academy

  • Williamsburg James City County Headstart

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