Services and Support
All Head Start/Early Head Start students receive an array of comprehensive services while in the program.
Education services are provided through daily classroom experiences that help to develop skills that are important for success in kindergarten. Classrooms are organized to provide a variety of opportunities for children to explore, discover, and grow. There are routines and a daily schedule to structure the day. Head Start classrooms are communities where children learn how to get along with others, solve problems peacefully and learn the academic skills they need to be successful in school. Children are screened using a variety of developmental screening instruments.
A child with disabilities can often learn more readily in a group with typically developing children rather than in a separate group for children with disabilities. The Head Start department works closely with the Exceptional Student Learning Services Department to provide the Least Restrictive Environment for each child. Head Start staff members work closely with community agencies to provide services to meet the special needs of all children.
Speech and Language Screening
As part of the screening process, children in the Head Start classrooms will have a speech and language screening within the first 45 days of school. The screening will look at how the sounds that make up words are formed and the use of words to talk. If concerns are found, children are referred to the speech therapist at the school for a closer look.
Mental Health and Wellness Services are provided to Early Head Start and Head Start children. These services support positive social-emotional growth for young children and their families. By engaging parents in program services, they are provided many opportunities to learn about mental and behavioral health. A strong foundation of social and emotional skills will prepare children for school readiness.
Mental Health and Wellness Services include:
- General classroom observations
- Conscious Discipline
- Counseling and/or social skills groups
- Parenting classes
- Consultation with parents, guardians, and staff
- Short-term family counseling
- Referrals to community agencies
- Information provided to families as appropriate
- Staff training and wellness
A Health Manager and two Health Parent Educators are available for any questions, concerns, or needs about your child’s health plan.
- Height and Weight
Height and weight for each child is measured prior to the first 45 days of school. Physical growth and development is monitored.
- Hearing and Vision Screenings
Your child will receive a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snack during the school day. All meals served are low in fat, sugar, and sodium (salt) and follow the USDA Meal Pattern guidelines. Monthly menus are available at each school and a copy of the menu is posted in your child’s classroom. Nutrition educational activities are included in the classroom.
Parents are not permitted to bring any food, (home-made or store bought), into the classroom (this includes for birthdays and holiday celebrations). If your child has any food allergies or requires a medically prescribed diet, restrictions and/or supplements, please contact the Health Specialist assigned to your child’s classroom. Paperwork from your child’s doctor will be required for these special nutritional needs.
- Good tooth care can protect your child’s precious smile! Tooth decay is the most common disease in children in the United States and it can easily be prevented. By encouraging good tooth-care habits now, you can help your child have healthy teeth for a lifetime.
PARENTS PLAY A KEY ROLE IN HELPING YOUR CHILD MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MOUTH.
Additional Health Services
- Assisting families with finding a medical and dental home
- Review of medical history and records to identify concerns
- Offering health promotion and training opportunities for parents
- Work with Medicaid and local agencies to determine child's eligibility for medical assistance
Family and Community Services
Family Services Support staff recruit and enroll families into Head Start and Early Head Start. All families have wishes and dreams for themselves and their family members. The Family and Community staff work with each family individually to express and reach these goals. This partnership may include:
- assisting families to connect with community resources
- training on topics requested by parents including discipline, nutrition, and budgeting
- connect families with community services including job fairs, English and GED classes, child care providers
Family and Community Partnerships focus on parent engagement, including male involvement activities, family support services, case management, transition services, and partnerships with community agencies.
Program Design and Management
Responsibilities include Program Governance, Policy Council, Parent Committees, Management Systems and Procedures, Human Resource Management, Facilities, Materials, and Equipment. The Program Director works closely with the Policy Council in program design and management.