Head Start/Early Head Start provides children ages birth to five with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically. The Head Start/Early Head Start staff recognizes that, as parents, you are the first and most important teachers of your children. They will welcome your involvement in Head Start/Early Head Start activities, and will work as partners with you to help your child progress.
Head Start/Early Head Start staff members offer your child love, acceptance, understanding, and the opportunity to learn and to experience success. Head Start children socialize with others, solve problems, and have other experiences which help them become self-confident. The children also improve their listening and speaking skills.
The children spend time in stimulating settings where they form good habits and enjoy playing with toys and working on tasks with classmates. Your child will leave Head Start/Early Head Start more prepared for kindergarten, excited about learning, and ready to succeed.
Your Head Start/Early Head Start child will also be examined by skilled professionals for any health problems. Professionals will arrange vision and hearing tests and any needed immunizations. Head Start/Early Head Start offers a nutrition assessment and dental exams as well. Children with health needs receive follow-up care.
Mental health and other services are available for children and families with special needs.
Most children who enroll in Head Start/Early Head Start attend a full day center-based program. However, some communities may operate a full day program or provide Head Start/Early Head Start services through a home-based setting. In a home-based program, staff called Home Visitors teach parents how to provide learning experiences for their own children.
Some center-based programs offer children bus transportation to and from home.
When the children arrive at the center, they are greeted warmly by their teachers. They put whatever they have brought from home in a place which is their own to use every day.
The day begins with a nutritious breakfast. Classroom time includes many different activities. Some teachers begin by asking the children to sit in a circle. This encourages the children to talk about an idea or experience they want to share with others. In some centers, the children plan their activities. They may choose among art, playing with blocks or table toys, science activities, dancing to music, looking at books, or pretend housekeeping. Children can switch activities if they prefer another challenge.
Each day, they have time to work in a small group with other children and to play outdoors on safe playground equipment. Learning through play promotes School Readiness skills.
At lunchtime, children receive a nutritious meal and brush their teeth. All the children are taught to wash their hands before meals, and are encouraged to develop good personal and health habits. A healthy snack is served in the afternoon.
Head Start/Early Head Start offers you a sense of belonging, other support services, and a chance to be involved in activities to help your whole family. You can take part in training classes on many subjects, such as child rearing, job training, learning about health and nutrition, and using resources in your own community. Head Start also offers assistance to parents interested in obtaining a high school General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or other adult education opportunities.
If you have a family member with a special problem, such as drug or alcohol abuse, job loss, or other family crisis, your family can receive help through Head Start/Early Head Start.
Head Start/Early Head Start staff members refer families needing help to medical, social welfare, or employment specialists they know in the community, and will follow up to be sure you receive assistance.
You can become a Head Start/Early Head Start volunteer and learn more about child development. This experience may later qualify you for training which can help you find employment in the child care field.You can also have a voice in the Head Start/Early Head Start program by serving on various committees. Parents' experiences in Head Start have raised their own self-confidence and improved their ability to make decisions.
The Educational Services support children as active learners, providing them with a consistent routine with age appropriate materials. Children are allowed to explore and make choices based on their interest and are guided by teachers. All children are taught with a curriculum, Creative Curriculum that is based on goals to strengthen and prepare children to enter kindergarten.
• Creative Arts
• Social/Emotional Development
Learning through play is the primary mode for teaching. The teachers participate in play activities, talk with children about their indoor and outdoor interests and observe nature with children. The classrooms are designed to accommodate children with special needs. The children experience learning through educational field trips. Contact person: Barbara Cooper.
Health Services has a commitment to wellness by embracing a complete concept of health for children, families and staff. The health services include medical and dental examines. The objective is to ensure that through collaboration with families, staff and health professionals, all a child’s health and developmental concerns are identified. Children and families are linked to a continuous source of accessible care to meet their basic health needs. Children receive speech/language, hearing, vision and developmental screenings within 45 calendar days of enrollment. Physical and dental examinations must be completed within 90 calendar days of enrollment. PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start also promotes a healthy lifestyle by incorporating health and dental curriculums in the classroom. Contact Person: Myra Hanna.
The objective of the Nutritional Services is to provide dietary assistance that establish good eating habits, nurture healthy development and promote life-long well-being. We assure that meals and snacks meet special government guidelines of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Each Head Start/Early Head Start child receives breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. PDCAP Head Start/Early Head Start provides weekly menus in English and Spanish, participates in family style meals, and accommodate children with special diets (medical or religious). Parents are encouraged to visit classrooms and participate in nutritional activities scheduled each Tuesday.Contact Person: Myra Hanna.
The Family Partnership Service area often referred to as Family Services includes parent involvement and social services aspect of the program. Family Partnership works closely with the parents to effectively identify each family’s strengths, goals and needs. Family Partnership is concerned with making sure that our families are participating in activities that provide information that will help to build their families socially and economically. Some of these activities include: local parent committee meetings, parent trainings, and additional resources that are helpful to a family’s positive development. Parents chosen from each center speak in a leadership role on behalf of the parents to participate in the planning and decisions-making of the program. Community Partnership encourages local agencies, school districts and other businesses to work closely with the Head Start program. These partnerships help our organization to better plan programs and access community resources to strengthen families. Contact person: Eleanora Hennigan-Fleming
The After-School Program is funded by Department of Social Services of South Carolina (DSS) which is known as ABC voucher program. It is an opportunity for eligible parents who are working, receiving training, or in school to expose their children to an enlightening learning experience. Our program is committed to providing a safe environment that will stimulate every child’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional development through specially designed programs to meet their needs. The hours of operation are 2:00 pm-5:30 pm. After-School Care is closed during regular Spring break and holidays. HS children and their siblings’ ages 2-12 years of age are eligible. Applications are available at local Head Start Centers. Contact person: Barbara Cooper.