Head Start is an early childhood education program for children 3 to 5 years old. This program promotes the building blocks of school readiness and lifelong learning through these six (6) areas
- Physical Development and Health
- Language and Literacy
- Cognitive and General Knowledge (Social Studies, History, Family and Community, Problem Solving and Symbolic Representation, Scientific Skills and Method, Conceptual
- Knowledge of the Physical and Natural World, Number Concepts, Quantities and Operations, Geometry, Patterns, and Measurement)
- Approaches to Learning, (Music, Creative Movement, Art, Drama, Imitative and Curiosity Persistence and Cooperation)
- Social and Emotional Development
Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include
- Early learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development
- Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health, and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.
- Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.
The program offers a part day and full day center-based program options for families who qualify. All program options provide children with a strong foundation for both social and emotional competence for school success.
Children enrolled in the program receive developmental, medical, dental, vision, hearing, and nutritional screenings with appropriate follow-up services. Healthy meals and snacks are provided and accommodations are made for special nutritional needs when feasible.
- In Head Start – Children 3 to 4 years of age are eligible to participate with priority given to 4-year-olds.
- Services are available for children with special needs and they are mainstreamed into classes that are developmentally appropriate for their needs.
There are two program options
- Part Day– Children are in a center based class either in the morning or afternoon for 3.5 hours per day.
- Full Day– Children are in a center based class for 6.5 hours per day. Parents must be working or attending school/training full time with no caregiver in the home in order to qualify for this program option.