Head Start/Early Head Start
Being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs you will face. Whether you are expecting, have a newborn infant, a curious toddler, or a preschooler, getting the support you need is often difficult.
Head Start and Early Head Start give you the encouragement you need. After all, you are the most important teacher in your childís young life!
Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social, and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. Programsí services are designed to be responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.
Services are offered to families who have incomes below the federal poverty level.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports
children's growth in the following domains:
What benefits do the programs provide for children?
- Language and literacy
- Cognition and general knowledge
- Physical development and health
- Social and emotional development
- Approaches to learning
Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child's first and most important teacher.
Head Start programs build relationships with families that support:
- Learn to express thoughts and feelings
- Increase self-confidence
- Establish positive relationships with other children
- Develop literacy and math skills
- Healthy meals and snacks
- Health, development, hearing and vision screenings
- School readiness
- Collaboration with other agencies for children with special needs
What services does the program provide to families?
- Family well-being and positive parent-child relationships
- Families as learners and lifelong educators
- Family engagement in transitions
- Family connections to peers and community
- Families as advocates and leaders
- Referrals to community resources
- Parent meetings
- Volunteer and training opportunities
- Quality early childhood education
Head Start is a Federal grant funded early childhood education program for children ages three through five. Human Services, Inc. serves families in Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Johnson and Shelby counties. Services are provided in a center base setting.
Head Start affords families a holistic preschool program at no cost. Head Start Performance Standards are followed as well as Indiana licensing regulations to create and maintain a high-quality educational experience for children. The inclusive approach leads children to self-regulation through educational, health and well-being, social-emotional, physical activity and healthy food choice curriculums.
The families of the children are included in Policy Council and are also invited to be on committees. Parents and guardians are also welcome to volunteer in numerous ways including: helping in a classroom, being a bus monitor, donating goods or time, making activities for centers and much, much more.
Early Head Start
What is Early Head Start?
Early Head Start is a federally funded community-based program dedicated to protecting and strengthening the bonds between parents and children. During the first three years of life, a childís brain is developing pathways which will imprint the way they learn, move, and interact socially for the rest of their lives. How parents interact with their children in the first three years can have lasting effects on their childís overall development.
Early Head Startís family-driven philosophy empowers parents to support and nurture their child and become their childís first and most important teacher.
Early Head Start offers three program options, Prenatal Care, Home Based, and Center Care. Home Based is offered to families 90 minutes weekly. Early Head Start Center Base Program is offered in Bartholomew and Shelby Counties.
Home Based Program
Home Based is a year round program that provides services to children and parents of children ages six weeks to three years, as well as expectant families in their homes for 90 minutes weekly. Prenatal visits will vary in length and frequency depending on the familiesí needs and interests.
Family Support Workers (FSW) supports you as your childís first and most important teacher. Once a week, a FSW will visit you and your child in your home.
Follow Up and Identify Needs
The Family Support Worker (FSW) and parent(s) will review the past week and discuss any family issues. The FSW can enhance your awareness of and participation in our program and community events. FSW may also assist you in meeting your identified needs and goals.
The primary purpose of prenatal care is to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and ultimately a healthy baby. A Family Support Worker offers expectant families support and information to assist them in achieving healthy birth outcomes and in forming an early attachment with their unborn baby. The FSW works closely with the Early Head Start Nurse in reaching healthy outcomes.
The Family Support Worker assists parents in planning developmentally appropriate activities which encourage positive interaction, provide the opportunity for learning experiences, generalize and expand skills, present component information geared for the child, and reinforce the parent as the primary educator of the child.
The families enrolled in the Home Based program are given the opportunity to get together twice a month. Parents are encouraged to participate in the planning of play groups. During a typical play group the Family Support Worker will serve a meal or snack, provide information or guest speakers requested by parents, and provide age appropriate activities.