Head Start and Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start programs are available to income-eligible children and their families. Children with identified special needs may also be considered, regardless of income.
We work in partnership with families to build children’s and parents’ strength, promote self-esteem and encourage self-sufficiency and lifelong learning.
Early Head Start is a home-based program that supports a parent’s role as their child’s most important teacher. The program offers educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to help parents develop a loving bond with their children so they can grow and learn. This program is available in Bedford County.
Early Head Start helps parents learn to be their child’s teacher. It helps expand their knowledge of early childhood development and important milestones. Parents and children have an opportunity to meet regularly and interact during our Play and Learn Socialization (PALS) program. PALS will encourage your child’s development.
Early Head Start provides education on:
- Stages of fetal development
- Delivery and labor
- How to care for your newborn
- Maintaining emotional well-being during and after pregnancy (postpartum)
- Breastfeeding versus bottle feeding
- Prevention of baby bottle tooth decay
- Healthy eating for mother and newborn
- How to childproof your home
- Preparation for father-to-be and siblings
- Postpartum visit from a nurse
- Child development information
- Personal home visits designed to meet each family’s individual needs
- Social service referrals
- Parent education
- PALS playgroups for parents and children
Head Start is a child and family development program. It promotes children’s school readiness by supporting their growth in language, literature, math, science, social and emotional development, and creative and physical arts. Head Start also provides children and families support with health, educational, nutritional, social and other services to allow them to grow and be successful in life. The program can be accomplished through home visits, classroom time or a combination of both. This program is available in Bedford and Fulton counties.
Head Start helps prepare children for kindergarten cognitively, just like school districts and other preschools do. Head Start also can provide the family with comprehensive services that will help them prepare to be successful as their child’s lifelong teacher and mentor. Head Start educates parents on observing their child’s development. By identifying needs or concerns early on and implementing corrective action, children’s development can flourish and they can advance at a quicker pace. Head Start offers capabilities and skills to focus on the family’s “big picture,” promoting health, nutrition and family unity.
Head Start offers the following:
- Individualized home visits
- Classroom time
- Kindergarten readiness
- Health screenings and referrals
- Healthy meals and snacks
- Book and video lending libraries
- Helpful parenting skills
- Family support and links to resources
- Sharing experiences with other parents
Our Head Start program partners with local school districts, Intermediate Unit 08 and Intermediate Unit 11.