More than just preschool and child care. The services listed below are available in both the Center-based and Home-based Head Start and Early Head Start options.
Disabilities Services This program is committed to meeting the special needs of children with disabilities, no matter the severity, in both the center-based and home-based setting. Comprehensive developmental screening and support is provided for all children. Therapy and special services may be provided on-site in the childcare centers. Parents/guardians actively participate in the assessment process to ensure that children’s needs are addressed through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The goal of the Disabilities Services is to foster a positive environment where children with special needs are assisted in reaching their full potential. This program offers inclusive child care settings, which provide opportunities for all children, with and without disabilities, to play and learn together, as well as learning to appreciate each other’s differences.
Education Services One of the unique strengths of our programs is the array of opportunities for parent involvement. The first step is your involvement in your child’s educational program. Direct or indirect help from you gives your child the boost they need. Direct help can mean working with your child in the classroom or in the home. Indirect help is supporting staff by helping with a variety of things, such as making decisions on activities, passing out flyers for parent meetings or collecting items for children’s activities. Every child receives a variety of learning experiences to foster intellectual, social, and emotional growth. Children participate in indoor and outdoor play and are introduced to the concepts of words and numbers. They are encouraged to express their feelings and to develop self-confidence and the ability to get along with others.
Family Services Staff will seek to form a partnership with your family in order to best support you in reaching goals that have been developed and in finding resources to meet your needs. Information, referrals, and resources will be provided in response to the chosen goal(s). Workshops are offered that are based on parent/guardian interests. Head Start/Early Head Start staff assist parents to meet their needs through education, advocacy, and referral. Staff help parents assess family needs, develop strategies, access resources, and to solve problems. Staff also serve as a link to other community agencies, helping them better understand and meet the needs of Head Start/Early Head Start families. Having parents volunteer in the classrooms is something we strongly encourage. Many of the staff members in Head Start and Early Head Start were former parents in these programs.
Health Services Infants and toddlers receive ongoing monitoring to remain up-to-date on an age appropriate schedule of well baby care visits and immunizations. Teaching staff provides developmental screenings according to the child’s age. Children aged three to five receive required health screenings that were not provided during the basic physical exam, such as hearing, vision, and blood pressure. In addition, teaching staff will provide speech, social, emotional, and developmental screenings on all children within the first 45 days of enrollment. For children aged 3 to 5, a dental exam, completed by a dentist, is a program requirement. Staff will assist families in securing dental services, if needed. Children who do not have dental insurance, or require costly co-pays within their current insurance plan, may be eligible to receive assistance through provided funding.
In our program, children are served a minimum of one meal, and snack each day in order to meet at least one third of their daily nutritional needs. Nutrition counseling is available to parents/guardians on an individual basis and/or during parent meetings. Topics include anemia, lead poisoning, food budgets, meal planning, physical activity, weight maintenance, and USDA food guide pyramid education, or any nutrition related parent request. Meals are served family style. Children are encouraged (but not forced) to try new foods. Program meals offer a variety of foods and cultural experiences. Monthly menus are posted at the center and a copy is provided to each family to take home. Parents/guardians are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Nutrition Advisory Committee to assist in menu planning
Family Wellness Services Head Start recognizes the importance of providing mental health and psychological services to children and families in order to encourage their emotional and social development. The goal of Family Wellness is to increase social competence for every child. Staff collaborates with families to plan the mental health aspect of the program and integrate activities into the curriculum. A trained staff person provides crisis intervention and follow-up, parenting classes, child observations with feedback to teachers and parents, short term counseling and other preventive mental health services. Help with parenting issues to prevent child abuse and neglect can be obtained through Family Wellness. Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact staff about referrals for assistance with drug abuse and/or alcohol abuse programs.
Head Start Enrollment Hotline: 1-800-701-7060