The Head Start/Early Intervention Department administers the District’s Head Start (HS) Program, a federally funded program that offers free comprehensive services to economically disadvantage children and families. The direct connection between the HS Program and the District streamlines the coordination of services and referrals required to meet the needs of HS families enrolled in the program. Services such as speech/language evaluations, psychological referrals, and counseling are coordinated among programs to ensure families receive referrals and services in a timely manner.
The District’s Head Start Program began as an eight-week summer program in 1965. Although the program was being offered in the elementary public schools, the Economic Opportunity Coordinating Group, a local community action agency was the selected grantee overseeing the program. In October of 1976, The School Board of Broward County, FL became the Head Start grantee offering services to 375 families. Over the years, the program has expanded to currently serve 2,040 Head Start and 80 Early Head Start families.
Diverse Head Start classes are held at 54 elementary school sites. These sites are selected based on the free lunch program data and the results of the Head Start Community Assessment Report. Head Start classes follow the 180-day school calendar. The program’s hours of operation adhere to each elementary school’s hours. After school care information is available at all elementary school locations.
Head Start Program Components
All children enrolled in the Head Start Program are provided with a learning environment encompassing varied complexities of experiences to help them develop socially, cognitively, physically, and emotionally in a manner appropriate to their age, individual interest, temperament, language, cultural background and stage of development.
- Research-based curriculum
- State certified teachers
- Early literacy focus
- Ongoing monitoring assessment
- Developmental screenings
- Field trips
- Social services
- Medical and dental services
- Mental health services
- Nutrition services
- Services for children with disabilities
- Family and community partnership
- Parent involvement
- Male involvement group
- Guardian support group
The Head Start Outcomes and Early Learning Framework and the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year-Olds provide the Head Start teachers with knowledge of what preschool children are expected to know and be able to do in the domains of Language Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Creative Arts, Social and Emotional Development, Approaches to Learning, and Physical Health and Development. The curricula used in the Head Start program to teach these skills include:
- The Creative Curriculum System for Preschool
- Skill Streaming in Early Childhood
- Conscious Discipline
Screenings and Assessments used to support the Head Start program are:
- Devereux Early Childhood Assessment
- District-emulated Literacy Assessments for Letters, Sounds, and Concepts of Print
- Phonological Awareness Assessment
- Teaching Strategies GOLD
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Administration of Children and Families