SCHRA Early Head Start
The Head Start (HS) program provides crucial support to families with preschool-age children who live at or below the poverty level or considered “at risk”. The reality is that hundreds of children don’t have enough healthy food to eat, don’t have healthcare, don’t have safe childcare, and are not likely to succeed in an educational environment without intervention.
Head Start is a primarily federally funded program that provides comprehensive care for families with young children who are living at one hundred percent of the federal poverty level. The program includes meals, educational opportunities, and family services. SCHRA is the only agency in the surrounding 13 counties that offers Head Start and it is delivered entirely without cost to participating families. This happens thanks to a strong network of community collaboration. At least 10% of Head Start’s enrollment is available to children with disabilities.
The work of Head Start continues when children are not in the classroom. Teachers check in with families regularly to assess the progress being made. Family Partners and staff follow up with other agencies to coordinate services, complete assessments of children’s learning, contact health care providers as needed, provide translations, visit families’ homes, and look for additional resources to support the families and the classrooms.
The parents of Head Start children are encouraged to be involved with the program by serving on advisory committees and helping in the classroom as well as participating in activities at home that connect to classroom lesson plans. This gives parents a “head start” in understanding and successfully navigating the public school system, making them effective advocates for their kids long after leaving.