Early Childhood Education and Health Services
Early Childhood Education
The educational goal for Early Head Start and Head Start is to provide school readiness experiences to children based on developmentally appropriate practices. The program seeks to provide learning experiences that will enhance the love of education and social competencies based on State and Federal Standards. In order to plan meaningful and playful activities for children, Head Start use a variety of information. Results from assessments, screenings, teacher daily observation and parent input all help us to have a real understanding of each child. Our staff-to-ratio of 1 caregiver for 4 infants/ toddlers; and 2 teachers for 17 children help us to individualize our activities/experiences.
Research shows that young children learn best when exploring, with their senses (touching, feeling, smelling, tasting, hearing, and seeing). We support children learning by using intentional and purposeful "PLAY" activities. The Pregnant Moms program uses " Parents as Teachers " Curriculum; Early Head Start uses Innovation Curriculum and Head Start uses a variety of Curriculums to guide and plan developmentally appropriate activities and strategies, including: Creative Curriculum, Peaceful Classroom and Head Start Nutrition. Research also reveals the important role environment plays as a third teacher in the learning process for young children. The Head Start Framework Curriculum provides guidance in setting up optimal learning environments with detailed lists of materials for each area in the classroom.
To further reinforce children's learning through sensory experience, we use monthly themes related to these senses in our classrooms. At the end of each month, we conclude the theme by taking a field trip to give children opportunities to make practical connections with what they have learned. For example our October theme "From Farm to Market " concluded with a field trip to " Sun Rock Farm".
Head Start teachers target the child's whole skill set development including cognitive, social and emotional skills. Children are exposed to many learning situations with opportunities to work in small groups, large groups and individually. Children learn to practice self discipline, turn taking and teamwork. Head Start children learn real math concepts such as counting, shape recognition, and basic measures of size, height, and weight. Teachers support and enhance the growth of children's language skills through open ended questions and daily conversation. Head Start children learn letter information, and understand word forming as they learn to write their names.
Research further shows that children are most successful in school when the family and the school work as partners. As result, we strongly encourage parental involvement in our Head Start program. To better accommodate parents' schedules, we offer a variety of options for involvement: Center Base full and half day programs, Home-Based programs, Enhancement and the Pregnant Moms program. Because children learn better in an environment in which they are familiar with predictable events, Head Start establishes a daily schedule and encourages parents to develop a family routine.
A Healthy Child is a Child ready to learn, and a Child ready to learn gets a Head Start.
Research has proven that the healthy child comes to school ready to learn. One very important key to a child's ability to learn successfully is having current immunizations, yearly health and regular dental check-ups, in addition to receiving balanced and nutritional meals. For three decades, research on Early Head Start/ Head Start program has repeatedly shown on the program has a positive impact on children, families, and communities, due to our rigorous in an effort to assure that appropriate health screenings, examinations, and treatments are completed.
Comprehensive assessments are also completed to identify any perceived problems and barriers to assuring quality health care for Early Head Start/Head Start children and families. Head Start identifies and implements preventive health activities such as health education and immunizations. Each year current research is used to look at reported health conditions in the present population of Early Head Start/Head Start children across medical, dental, mental health , disability and nutritional domains.