AMHA launched its Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) for families with children under five in 2007. Grounded in the belief that all children deserve to receive high quality early care, education and support services that ensure comprehensive healthy development, AMHA’s Early Childhood Initiative is designed to maximize scarce resources to provide programs that work directly with children and their parents/caregivers, as well as link families to community resources that provide a continuum of care and address children’s developmental needs. Through three ECI program components, AMHA has found an efficient way to provide high quality early care and education to the 3,000 children under age five, living in AMHA housing. That's nearly 10% of children living in Summit County under the age of five!
The program originally served residents at just a few of AMHA’s larger neighborhoods, but has since expanded to serve all AMHA public housing residents as well as those in the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8). Additionally, in 2014, ECI expanded to serve non-AMHA residents in Akron's Summit Lake neighborhood.