ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — New parents at UW Health SwedishAmerican will be given new kits to help their children grow up prepared for school, thanks to Rockford Public Schools.

The “Ready to Learn With the Basics” kits contain tools and tips to help young kids develop physical, social, emotional, and intellectual skills.

The materials are aimed at children from birth to age 5.

Rockford Public Schools partnered with UW Health and Alignment Rockford for the effort.

RPS Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said it is never too early to get a start on a child’s education.

“I think what is so powerful about this is, we’re immediately connecting with families and connecting them to the tremendous expertise that exists right at the birth process,” Jarrett said an event announcing the program on Wednesday. “I think that is a different way to approach things. I think far too often we are hopeful parents will find those resources. We’re hopeful we can get children to the resources they need. At the end of the day, the sooner we start, the better and the easier we make it, the better.”

A $500,000 grant is paying for the kits. Rockford was one of three Illinois communities the state deemed in need of the funding.