To a Degree-Head Start

News Release


To a Degree-Head Start

February 15, 2018

Head Start Program Options

Over 50 years ago, Head Start was introduced as a program for preschool children ages 3-5. In 1995, the first federal grants for Early Head Start (birth-3 years) were awarded. Today, many Head Start programs provide services and promote school readiness for children 0-5. To best serve the needs of families and local communities, several program options are available.

Head Start (HS). Head Start encompasses comprehensive services targeting preschool children (ages 3-5). HS programs are designed to deliver early learning, health, and family well-being services to children and families, with emphasis on school-readiness and family engagement. Standard program options include:

· Home-based services: With an average caseload of 10-12 children, HS Home Visitors deliver a full range of services in the family’s home each week. Working together with parents, Home Visitors help plan learning activities using daily routines, household materials, and parent-child interactions. HS families receive up to 32 visits/year and 16 group socialization opportunities.

· Center-based services: Comprehensive services are delivered primarily in classroom settings, with enrollment size and child/staff ratios dependent upon age and specific needs of children. Centers operating 4-days/week offer 128 class days; 5-day/week centers offer 160 days, 1020 hours/year.

Early Head Start (EHS). EHS programs are designed to support mothers and fathers in their roles as primary caregivers and teachers of their children. Although service delivery is similar to Head Start for preschool children, EHS strives to address unique needs of pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Program options for EHS include: · Home-based services: A Home Visitor provides the full range of EHS services through weekly home visits. For 1½ hours each week, the Home Visitor guides and supports parents in activities that facilitate their child’s growth and development. Approximately twice per month, families attend group sessions designed to promote a child’s socialization skills and offer opportunities for parents to network, share, and learn. EHS families receive up to 46 home visits per year.

· Center-based services: Although an EHS center-based family will receive at least 2 home visits per year, most education and child development services are offered in classroom settings. EHS centers meet state and local childcare licensing requirements and classroom teachers are assigned no more than four children. An EHS program may choose to align center operational hours to best meet the needs of working parents or parents enrolled in school. A program must offer 1,380 annual hours of classroom operations.

Other options available to HS/EHS programs include child care partnerships and family child care services. These programs are funded to partner with existing child care programs and family child care homes within local communities. HS/EHS services are delivered primarily in these child care centers, private homes or family-like settings. Care providers operate HS/EHS-required hours/year and follow state and local licensing regulations.

Contact NCMC/Green Hills Head Start (660-359-2214) to inquire about locally-available program options.

North Central Missouri College sponsors the Green Hills Head Start program for Caldwell, Daviess, Grundy, Harrison, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Putnam, and Sullivan counties.

For further information or interviews, please contact Kristi Harris-Public Relations Director at 660-357-6203. If you no longer wish to receive news releases regarding North Central Missouri College, please reply with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.