Head Start began in 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty Head Start Is an early childhood education program that serves low income children and their families with an emphasis on health, nutrition and parental involvement. Head Start services and resources are intended to nurture stable family relationships, enhance children’s physical and emotional well-being, and establish an environment to develop strong cognitive skills. Head Start helps to create healthy development in low-income children age’s three to five. Head Start affords preschoolers with the ability to engage successfully with their peers outside of the family network, adjust to the space of a classroom, and meet the expectations the school setting provides.
In 1994, the Early Head Start program was established to serve pregnant women, children from birth to age three, attempting to capitalize on evidence that these years are critical to children’s development. Early Head Start promotes healthy prenatal outcomes, healthy families and infant and toddler development beginning as early as birth.
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start has a commitment to wellness by embracing a complete concept of health to support parents, children, and their families. The program provides a medical and dental home; vision, hearing, developmental, speech and behavioral screening completed within 45 calendar days of enrollment; immunizations, well-child physicals/dental examinations according to SC Early & Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) schedule and completed within 90 days (calendar); evaluations, treatments, and needed follow-up as recommended by medical/dental professionals. The program manages the prenatal care of pregnant women by ensuring medical and dental examinations and recommended treatment are completed. Educational classes are provided pertaining to prenatal and infant care such as breast feeding, nutrition, labor and delivery, SIDS, fetal growth/development and postpartum depression. Children and families are linked to a continuous source of accessible care to meet their basic health needs.
Contact Person: Myra Hanna – firstname.lastname@example.org
(Resource Links: American Academy of Pediatrics) www.aap.org, (Department of Health and Environmental Control) www.scdhec.gov, (Healthy Children e – magazine) www.healthychildren.org
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start provides dietary assistance that establish good eating habits, nurture healthy development and promote life-long well being. The program meets each child’s nutritional needs including children with special dietary needs. Infant formula is provided and meet age appropriate feeding requirements and schedules, according to the guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for nutritional content. Meals are planned by the Nutrition Manager and approved by a Registered Dietician.
Contact Person: Nina Suber – email@example.com
(Resource Links: https://.fns.usda.gov/wic/women-infants-and-children-wic)
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start provides children with a solid foundation for school readiness and lifelong success. The program support children as active learners, providing them with a consistent routine utilizing age appropriate materials. Children can explore and make choices based upon their interests and are guided by teachers. The Creative Curriculum is implemented and based on goals to strengthen and prepare children for kindergarten. Learning through play is the primary mode for teaching. The classrooms are designed to accommodate children with special needs.
Children with special needs can increase his or her learning and social abilities more readily in a group with typical children. The programs continue to influence the developmental competence of children birth to five through the implementation of our school readiness goals.
Contact Person(s): Barbara Cooper – firstname.lastname@example.org & Maebelle A. Williams – email@example.com
(Resource Link: eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/parenting/article/fun-learning-parents-Children-activities-handbook)
Parent, Family & Community Engagement (PFCE)
The PFCE goal is to build relationships that strengthen well-being as a family. Each family works closely with their Family Advocate to identify interests, strengths and needs to develop goals to strengthen their family. Parents are encouraged to participate in parent committees, parent trainings, fatherhood engagement events, education advisory, and volunteer. Parents are enrolled in the program’s parent curriculum during the enrollment process. The curriculum, Ready Rosie, is a researched based curriculum that provides parents the opportunity to promote their child’s school readiness and learn parenting skills. Parents receive access to a video resource library of short videos and participate in group parent trainings.
The PFCE benefits for families are: (1) Parents increase their interaction with their children, (2) Parents gain knowledge in child development, (3) Parents have an understanding of school readiness, (4) Parents become more active in school and in decision making of the program, and (5) Parents increase their confidence in parenting.
Eligibility Recruitment Selection Enrollment & Attendance/ERSEA:
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start ensures eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment and attendance systems are in place to enroll the neediest families in a timely manner and maintain full enrollment for the program. Eligibility is based on the Federal Income Poverty guidelines and priority is given to children who are homeless, in foster care, receiving TANF/SSI, income eligible and or diagnosed with a disability.
Consistent regular attendance is essential for children to benefit from their Head Start experience and for future school readiness.
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start provides an inclusive learning environment for children, regardless of their developmental skill level and recognize the importance of school readiness for all children. Within the first 45 days of starting school, all children are evaluated to identify any concerns with developmental, sensory (visual & auditory), behavior, motor, language, social, cognitive, perceptual or emotional skills. The program is committed to meeting the special needs of children with disabilities, regardless of the severity. Each child suspected of a disability or behavioral concerns will be referred for further evaluation and screening. Working closely with the local school districts, BabyNet and other community agencies to provide services that meet the special learning needs of children and their families.
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start adheres to the federal mandate of ensuring that not less than 10% of enrollment are children with disabilities. Inclusion works, children with atypical behavior learns more readily with their peers. Children receive on-site intervention services, speech services, part-day and itinerant special education services at their designated centers.
Mental Health Services:
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start also recognizes the importance of providing mental health and psychological services to children to promote healthy development. A wellness approach is the guiding light for efforts to create a nurturing, caring environment for all persons associated with the program. Mental Health is approached in a positive way, in terms of wellness. Parents are assisted in meeting their goals for their children as well as themselves. Services such as classroom observations, consultations and trainings are developed to build collaborative relationships among children, families, staff, mental health professional, and the community to increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues.
(Resource Links: center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning –
http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/, Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention:
http://challengingbehavior.fmhi.usf.edu/, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports:
https://www.pbis.org, Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: http: www.ecmhc.org/,
National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness: http://ecklc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health)
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start operates in Florence, Marion, and Dillon counties. Parents and staff share responsibilities for the safe transportation of our children to and from school. Transportation is not provided for Early Head Start centers. In some areas transportation is provided by the local school districts through collaborative agreements. Buses are required to have a bus monitor and inspected by DOT. Interested persons are to contact a center driver, family advocate or center manager.
Program Operations – Facilities:
PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start provides physical environments responsive to the needs of children, families, staff, volunteers and community partners served in 15 facilities located throughout the three-county service area. All centers are licensed through the SC Department of Child Care Licensing & Regulations and meet the Office of Head Start Program Performance Standards.
Volunteers are welcome to contribute their time and talents to the program throughout the year. Volunteers share in all activities to provide opportunities to build relationships, and become positive role models in classrooms with the children. Volunteers also provide administrative support and enable the program to meet its non-federal match of 20% of federal funds received. Orientation is provided to familiarize volunteers of policies and procedures in place.
Contact: Main Office at local Head Start sites