Head Start

Head Start is a preschool program that helps young children do well in elementary school. It is a free program that runs from September to June and is offered at 19 locations around Oakland County. Head Start provides children with learning activities that focus on social, physical, emotional, and intellectual growth. It also offers services for the families of enrolled children. These services support parents in their role as a child’s first teacher since doing so helps to strengthen family ties. Head Start focuses on the needs of the entire family as they relate to the development of the child. Enrollment is based on income eligibility; families with special needs are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility

•    Must be a resident of Oakland County
•    Child must be 3 or 4 on or before October 1st of the current school year
•    Income must be within the Federal Poverty Guidelines as documented with a current income tax return (or other supporting documents).
•    10% of slots reserved for children with a diagnosed disability

Goals

•    To provide a positive learning environment for young children.
•    To promote the social, physical, intellectual and emotional development of children enrolled in the program.
•    To ensure that our services are available to those who need it most.
•    To provide families with services or referrals necessary to ensure needs are adequately met.
•    To involve parents in education of their child through involvement in the program.
•    To help families overcome factors that put their children at risk.
•    To provide provisions that all children receive medical and dental services.
•    To educate families about health, mental health and nutrition issues as well as available services.
•    To ensure the provision of meals and snacks that are nutritious and meet USDA requirements.
•    To give children the opportunity to learn in an environment that meets their individual needs.

Curriculum

Head Start uses the High Scope (http://highscope.org/) curriculum to encourage children to do well in school. The High Scope curriculum differs from older methods due to its use of a process called "active participatory learning." Instead of receiving information passively children are guided through specially designed activities that allow them to experience the joy of discovery for themselves. The goal is to provide a literacy-rich environment where experienced professionals can encourage a child’s love of learning by providing positive reinforcement and feeding their curiosity. Although classes are generally a half-day long there are also limited full day classes and ESL classes.

Health & Nutrition

Head Start's commitment to wellness includes connecting families to local, low cost health services for enrolled children. These services include health and dental screenings as well as vision and hearing tests. Each child's health plan ensures that all age appropriate immunizations and screenings are obtained and that children and families are linked to an on-going source of medical care. 
Children are served a hot meal and snack every day to meet one-third of their daily nutritional needs. Registered Dietitians on staff direct classroom and home base nutrition activities, assess the nutritional needs of the children and families, and refer them to the appropriate community resources.

Mental Health

Head Start mental health services focus on the mental wellbeing of children in the program. Collaborative relationships are built among children, families, staff, mental health professionals, and the larger community. Children are given opportunities to build self-esteem, acceptance, and understanding. Mental health professionals also help families cope with long or short-term stressful situations and assist them in accessing appropriate community referrals 

Parent Engagement

Parents are involved in parent education, program planning, and operational activities. They are given the chance to take part in the program’s administrative and managerial decisions. Throughout the year, classes and workshops are held for parents so that they can learn about the needs of their children and what educational activities can be conducted at home. 

Disability Services

Ten percent of the enrollment in Head Start is reserved for children with disabilities. This includes children with physical, hearing, visual, emotional, speech, and health impairments. Head Start staff work with community agencies to make sure that the special needs of such children are met.  

Community Partnerships

Focuses on helping parents assess their family needs and identify the community resources available for help. Family Services strives to build upon the individual strengths of families to help them help themselves.  The primary role is to provide support to families as they work to strengthen their family units and improve the quality of their lives. One of the main functions is to supply information and serve as a link between the family, the program and the community. 

Contact Us

Please find contact information for our various locations here.

Helpful Links 

Bright Futures - Health and immunization information
ADA for Kids – Information and resources provided by the American Dental Association
Choose My Plate - Health and Nutrition Information for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
Let’s Move! – Resources for raising healthy children