Health and Nutrition
A strict portfolio of safety precautions are in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission while children are learning with Head Start. Those include staggered arrival and pick up times, daily no-contact health screenings for staff, parents and children, reduced class sizes, physical distancing procedures, regular hand-washing and use of personal protective equipment. CAPK Head Start has also deployed the use of Electrostatic Sprayers using CDC-approved Bioesque disinfectant to treat classroom surfaces. For more information, please refer to our Health Addendum to the Parent Handbook.
Health is the foundation of school readiness. To help children thrive, CAPK Head Start ensures that children are up to date on California’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) schedule, learn health habits, and can access the care they need. We collaborate with parents/guardians and physicians to ensure each child is up to date on immunizations, dental checkups, and physical exams.
Did you know? We are equipped with Otoacoustic Emissions screeners and PlusOptix machines for hearing and vision screening, respectively.
*Blood pressure screenings are also provided as needed.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental wellness of children, families, and staff everyday. Early childhood mental health is the same as social and emotional well-being. It is a child’s developing capacity to express and regulate emotions, form trusting relationships, explore, and learn-all in the cultural context of family and community. The mental health of children and the adults that care for them is essential for school readiness.
Early childhood education programs play a vital role in supporting the social and emotional and mental health of children and families. This support is particularly important when children and families are exposed to traumatic events or situations that overwhelm their ability to cope.
Protective factors can help develop children’s ability to cope so that they can become resilient, heal, and recover. Head Start programs are uniquely positioned to provide protective factors, such as strong, trusting relationships and safe, stable environments that promote healing for children, families, and staff.
Crisis and Support Hotlines can offer immediate help. They provide free counseling, resources, and support from qualified providers. Many of them are available 24 hours a day and offer support for adults and caregivers around difficult topics such as child abuse, natural disasters, parent support, domestic violence, and suicide.
Healthy eating patterns promote young children’s brain and body development. Our program engages children in nutrition activities that encourage them to try the healthy foods that CAPK Head Start provides.
Our classrooms practice family style dining, this means that children and teachers sit together at a a table for meals and snacks. family style meals help children make healthy food choices by seeing positive attitudes from teachers and other children. This also allows teachers to model and develop key concepts for children, including:
Did you know some benefits of family style meals include improved motor skills and self-confidence, expanded social skills, and practice using proper table manners.
CAPK Head Start observes strong nutritional standards set by the Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP). CACFP, a program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, crafts healthy menus for our children. Our menus offer cultural and ethnic food varieties to broaden children’s food experiences. Our monthly selections include foods that are high in nutrients and are low in fat, sugar, and salt.
CAPK Head Start makes every effort to accommodate children with food allergies. If you aware of any food allergies your child may have, please remember to disclose that information when applying for enrollment in our program. We want to make sure your child is safe and has the appropriate nutrition available to them their first day in Head Start.