What is Head Start?
Head Start is a comprehensive child development program that serves children from ages 3- 5 and their families. The program provides education, health nutrition, social services and parent involvement services to underserved and/or low-income children and their families with the goal of ensuring the children enrolled are ready to start and succeed in school.
Education includes pre-school education based on nationally set standards that have become the de-facto standards for pre-school in the United States of America.
Eligibility for Head Start services is largely income-based.
Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education, health, Created in 1965 by the Head Start Act, Head Start is the longest-running program to address systemic poverty in the United States. As of late 2005, more than 22 million pre-school aged children have participated in Head Start. The annual, federal $6.8+ billion dollar budget for the program provides services to more than 905,000 children, 57% of whom are an average age of four years old or older, and 43% three years old or younger. Services are typically provided by approximately 1,600 different programs operating more than 48,000 classrooms scattered across every state (and nearly every county), nationally, at an average cost of $7,222??? per child. The staff consists of nearly 250,000 paid personnel in addition to many volunteers.
For more than 40 years, research has unequivocally demonstrated that Head Start makes a difference in the lives of children, families and communities.
Head Start at Henry Booth House is
- A continuous learning experience
- In a laboratory environment consisting of Early Childhood Development and Health Services, Family and Community Partnerships.
Henry Booth House consists of full-day collaboration, pre-Kindergarten and community Head Start programs located with private provider day care centers. Head Start at Henry Booth House provides services for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age.
- The whole child
- The whole family
- The whole community
Benefits from a wide range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development, medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to each child’s and families developmental, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.
In Early Childhood Development and Health Services, the curriculum at Henry Booth House includes learning activities that are developmentally appropriate, skill and knowledge domains, assessments, and caring qualified and nurturing staff.
Henry Booth House staff work together to ensure that children begin kindergarten ready to learn. Also, in order to ensure that children are healthy in order to grow, thrive and learn, health screenings at Henry Booth House include a physical, immunizations, dental exams, nutrition, vision, hearing and mental health assessments. Individualized Education Plans are integrated into the curriculum for children with disabilities/special needs.
In the area of Family and Community Partnerships, Henry Booth House recognizes that our program could not function without the important contributions of parents and community members. Both groups are involved in the operation of and on Head Start governing boards. They also provide volunteer hours in the classrooms reading, doing preparation work, and just giving an extra hand.
Henry Booth House embraces research records that show that children learn better when they have good physical and mental health and have families whose own needs are met so they can devote their energies to nurturing and educating their children. It is because of this that Henry Booth House emphasizes not only children’s cognitive development, but also their social, emotional and physical development as well as parent involvement.
Additional and proven benefits of Head Start through research record that children are better prepared and have higher self-esteem and social behavior at school entry; they show school achievement and motivation. Head Start provides jobs and services to most communities. Henry Booth Head Start parents are given consideration and have priority access to employment opportunities for which they are qualified.
This comprehensive approach is rare among other early childhood programs even though each of these components - health care, social services, education and parent involvement – are essential to children’s readiness for school.
We work with Community Sites to achieve a high-quality Head Start Program for children ages 3-5 years old and their families. We take into account their social, emotional, cognitive, nutrition, health and physical development. To support the over –all goal of providing service to children and families we embrace these areas of services: