Health is essential to school readiness as it supports learning throughout childhood and later. Our programs' health services have a comprehensive approach built upon prevention and early detection. This approach ensures that children and families have access to health insurance, regular screenings, immunizations, well child visits, oral health, and prenatal services.
Nutrition and Oral HealthGood nutrition enhances health, children who are healthy increase their ability to learn and grow. The Head Start Birth to Five Program offers nutritious meals and snacks meeting the nutritional requirements established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services.
The Birth to Five Program is committed to. . .
Provide a variety of foods that are nutritional and culturally based
Encourage children to try different types of foods
Provide meal accommodations for children with specific dietary needs or allergies
Good oral hygiene is essential for children to be healthy. The Head Start Birth to Five Program offers oral health care daily through regular toothbrushing, education for parents, and embedded activities in the daily curriculum.Family Engagement
An essential part of every child's growth and development is having engaged family support. Our program strives to include families in education, planning and program operations to help them gain skills necessary to become advocates and engage in school readiness activities and experiences. In addition, many employees in our program are former Head Start parents.
Family advocates and caseworkers provide wide array of social services and family stabilization support to enrolled families. Working from a strength-based approach, staff work with families to assess their needs, connect them to community resources and help them achieve personal and family goals.
Early Childhood Special Education
At least 10 percent of Head Start's enrollment is dedicated to children with disabilities or other special needs. Specially trained staff work closely with community agencies to provide services to children while simultaneously providing them with an integrated, developmentally appropriate early childhood experience within Head Start classrooms.
- Provide screening and referral for infants, toddlers and preschoolers
- Partner directly with families to make referrals to Early Intervention, Child Find and Early Childhood Special Education
- Listen, support, and strengthen relationships with families, staff and service providers
- Advocate for and connect families with local community agencies and resources
- Individualized services for young children with special needs
The Behavior Support Team works with teachers and families to support children in their social emotional development and assists with any behavioral issues that may be impacting their school readiness.
Building Strategic Alliances
The Head Start Birth to Five Program engages with the local community to build strategic alliances to enhance program services, connect families with important resources, and create strong linkages to promote a strong foundation for families.