Head Start Awareness Month
Serving more than a million children from birth to 5 each year, Head Start programs help prepare America’s children to succeed in school and in life. In the fall of 2020, Childcare Resources began offering Head Start and Early Head Start services to specific zip codes in Jefferson County. Our local model is a community partnership model, and we serve the majority of qualifying children in partnership with existing child care centers. While Head Start is a federally funded program, the quality and storied history of Childcare Resources makes it possible for us to add this offering to the agency’s services.
October is Head Start Awareness Month, and in celebration, we sat down with our Head Start Program Director, Tonya Jones, to learn about the various Head Start initiatives available in our community. Keep reading to hear how early learning, health, and family well-being support ensures children are ready to learn.
Share a few highlights with our readers about the services and programs that Head Start offers:
Childcare Resources’ Head Start/Early Head Start (EHS) program promotes the school readiness of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families. Services are provided in various settings, including centers and partnerships with local child care providers. Our program nurtures positive relationships with parents or other critical family members through leadership roles in program operations. Additionally, Head Start services are available to children with disabilities and other special educational needs.
Who qualifies to enroll in our Head Start Program?
Head Start/EHS program services are available at no cost to children from birth to age five (5) in qualifying low-income families. Families and children experiencing homelessness, children with disabilities, and children in the foster care system are also eligible.
How do children and families benefit from enrolling in our Head Start Program?
Head Start supports children in a positive learning environment through a variety of services including:
Early Learning and Development: A child’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. These include social skills, emotional well-being, language and literacy skills, mathematics, and science concepts, focusing on each family’s culture and language. We also work with families, school districts, and other entities to facilitate a smooth transition to kindergarten for each child.
Health and Physical Development: Head Start provides safe and healthy learning experiences that require children to fully explore and experience their environment. All children receive health screenings and nutritious meals, along with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure they receive the care and attention they need. Children receive support for building resiliency to cope with possible adverse effects of trauma.
Family Well-Being: Parents and families are offered the support needed to achieve their individual goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security.
What can families expect as outcomes of enrolling their child in our Head Start program?
Families can expect to see their children grow into happy, healthy individuals that are ready for kindergarten, while receiving the best opportunities for a successful head start in life.
How can volunteers to get involved?
Extended family members volunteer in the classroom regularly, and we welcome community members to volunteer with approved background screenings and tuberculosis tests.
Why do you think families should consider Childcare Resources’ Head Start Program as their preschool program of choice? What is special about our program?
Our mission is to provide quality educational and comprehensive services to young children and their families through community partnerships that promote school readiness, healthy family engagement and developmental services. Our program partnership model allows us to provide direct services to qualified families and indirectly for children of families that are not eligible.
To learn more about Childcare Resources’ Head Start program, please visit www.ccr-bhm.org/head-start.
The mission of Childcare Resources’ Head Start Program is to provide quality educational and comprehensive services to young children and their families through community partnerships that promote school readiness, healthy family engagement, and developmental services. Our vision is a community where families are empowered, partners are engaged, and achievement gaps are lowered.
The Office of Head Start (OHS) works to prepare young children from local low-income families to succeed in both school and life. The Head Start and Early Head Start Programs promote a child's development through comprehensive early learning, health, and family well-being services.