WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A community-wide event geared for parents and grandparents with young children, pregnant women and caregivers is set to begin on Tuesday afternoon, offering plenty of services and incentives for attendees.

The annual Early Childhood Fair, presented by the Wichita Falls Housing Authority, will take place on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Paul Irwin Center, located at 115 East Wichita Street in Wichita Falls.

The Early Childhood Fair is free and open to the public. No reservations or RSVPs are required to attend this come-and-go event.

For any questions related to the event, prospective attendees are urged to contact Paris Ward at either (940) 687-2450 or (940) 687-9906.

In addition to multiple agencies attending the event and offering free services for families with children, the Early Childhood Fair will include several free giveaways, raffles, and a free car seat safety check, with replacement and new seats available. Your child must be present for a car seat safety check.

As an extra incentive, the first 100 children to enter the Early Childhood Fair will receive a certificate for a free meal at Raising Cane’s.

Officials with the Wichita Falls Housing Authority have suggested parents and guardians bring the following items to help with registration and processing, though they are not required for attendance at the Early Childhood Fair:

  • License or photo ID
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of income
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s insurance card
  • Child’s social security card
  • Child’s current shot record

A list of agencies that will be in attendance at the Early Childhood Fair, as well as the services they will be providing, can be found below:

  • YMCA: Register for summer day camp, ages 5-12; It also offers childcare for ages 0-4
  • Head Start: Registering children, ON SITE, ages 3 & 4, for the 2023-24 school year
  • Early Head Start: Free early childhood education, for ages 0-3 & pregnant moms
  • Inheritance Adoptions: Provides a positive alternative to unplanned pregnancies. Licensed to place children ages 0-7 for adoption. It also offers parenting programs & supportive services
  • Wichita Falls Area Food Bank: Passing out free bags of produce & Offers cooking classes
  • WIC: Nutrition program for pregnant women & families with children, ages 0-5
  • Mothers’ Milk Bank: Provides free lactation support classes & safe donor milk to families
  • Helen Farabee: Serves intellectual & developmental disabilities & mental health needs
  • Texas Health Steps/TX STAR Programs: Enrolling & providing information for children receiving Medicaid. Info on STAR health plans, transportation & more! Medicaid Health plans are also on site
  • Parents As Teachers: Serves pregnant women & families with children, ages 0-5. Certified teachers come into the home and teach parents to be their child’s first teachers
  • Child Care Partners: Low-cost Child Care Center that offers scholarships & after-school care
  • Wichita Falls Area HIPPY: Home-based school readiness program, ages 3-5; lessons in English & Spanish, specialized curriculum for children with Autism
  • Early Childhood Coalition: Signing families up for free texting service with parenting tips
  • Community Healthcare Center: Providing Free Covid & Flu vaccines; Also COVID-19 education
  • Arc of Wichita County: Works with IDD for youth & adults; offers volunteer opportunities
  • Legal Aid: Free legal services such as child support, custody, visitation divorce, etc.
  • STARRY Counseling: Free strength-based counseling for children, adolescents & families
  • Abilene Recovery Council: Parenting Education for Individuals at risk of substance use
  • Fort Sill National Bank: Opening FREE bank accounts (must have valid ID)