Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities designed to meet their individual needs. Families receive comprehensive services in the areas of health, nutrition, education and social services. Programming is offered through either a center base or home base design. Parents are actively involved in all aspects of the program. 204 families are served at 6 centers throughout the county or through a home base design.
Both program models provide a planned, organized and consistently implemented curriculum to support child development and education following the Head Start National Performance Standards. The center based program consists of a part day preschool classroom experience offered 4 days per week and includes one home visit every 4-6 weeks. The home base program consists of weekly visits to the family and two group socialization experiences each month.
Activities for children are designed to build their social, cognitive, language and physical development. Staff use a variety of teaching strategies to enhance children's school readiness skills. They are exposed to new experiences, ideas and challenges. The program is inclusive of all children, including those with identified disabilities and developmental needs.
Working in partnership with families, Head Start strives to ensure that all children receive appropriate medical and dental care and that families establish a "medical and dental home" for ongoing health care. All children receive vision, hearing, social-emotional and developmental screenings within the first 45 days of program start up. Referrals for additional evaluations are made when appropriate. In addition, children also receive at least 1/3 of their daily nutritional requirements when participating in a Head Start classroom experience.
One of the unique aspects of the Head Start Program is its family centered philosophy. Parents are supported in their role as primary educators of their child. Head Start parents are fully involved in program governance, including decisions about program planning, budgeting and staff selection. Parents work as program and classroom volunteers and provide over 20,000 hours of volunteer service each year. Each family has the opportunity to acquire new information, to participate in a variety of training sessions and to receive referrals to other resources. These services are all intended to strengthen the family unit and to support them in achieving their goals.
For more information, contact us via phone at (607) 334-7114.