Head Start and Early Head Start provide the best way to get your child ready for school.
That's because, at Head Start, your child will learn many language skills that help them talk about their ideas and feelings and about the world around them.
They develop early reading skills and writing skills that stay with them the rest of their lives.
They also learn fundamental math skills so they can recognize patterns — as well as sort and count things. This leads directly to basic math, like adding and subtracting.
Children also develop basic science skills so they can explore and organize the world around them.
Head Start goes far beyond these traditional academic areas as children learn many emotional skills and social skills.
Our program helps children develop a strong concept of “self.” This helps them to become independent and confident about themselves and leads to self-control, an ability to cooperate with others, as well as growing social knowledge and awareness so they can do well in their families and their communities.
Head Start also emphasizes physical development skills.
Our children get daily practice at gross motor skills that include running, playing, jumping, climbing, catching and throwing on well-equipped playgrounds. In addition, we emphasize the development of a child’s fine motor skills with activities such as working with scissors and glue or a hammer and screwdriver. Your child will also develop good health practices like tooth-brushing, washing, toileting, and personal hygiene.
Head Start Children Undergo Extensive Developmental Screenings
Each child is screened to find out if they are functioning at their age level in areas of thinking, language skills, self-help skills, social and emotional skills, and skills in the use of large and small muscles. The results are used to develop individual education programs for every child.
Hearing and Vision Screenings
These screenings find children with hearing or vision difficulties that might affect their ability to participate. Children who do not pass the screenings are referred for further evaluation.
Speech and Language Screenings
These screenings check speech sounds, words, and how the words are used. Children who require additional testing are referred to the school system with the permission of their parents.
Height and Weight Screenings
These screenings check a child’s weight and height to detect any abnormal growth.
Mental Health Services
Every center is visited at least twice a year by a licensed child psychologist who observes the children, trains the staff, and is available to talk with parents.
Every child receives a well-balanced diet that enhances his or her development in all areas. All children are offered a light breakfast, almost always a hot meal at lunch, and a healthy snack near the end of the day.
Children with disabilities (regardless of severity) are welcomed in all Head Start classrooms. Typical disabilities include health impairment, speech/language impairments, learning disabilities, emotional/behavior disorders, hearing impairments (including deafness), visual impairment (including blindness), autism, mental retardation, orthopedic impairment, and traumatic brain injury.
With the permission of the parent, each child’s dental condition is assessed by a dentist who brings a dental chair into each Center. If dental work is required, children are referred to dentists in the community. A fluoride supplement program is available when necessary.