EARLY HEAD START:
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Philosophy and Vision

Early Head Start recognizes parents as the first and most important teachers of their children. We are dedicated to protecting and strengthening the bonds between parents and children.

During their first three years of life, a child's brain is developing the pathways (connections between brain cells) which will imprint the way they learn, move, and interact socially for the rest of their lives. How parents interact with their children in those first three years has a critical effect on the child's development. Infants who are ignored or are inconsistently responded to may develop serious cognitive and/or physical problems (i.e. Failure to thrive). The parent/child relationship is the vehicle for the child’s continued learning, and is the primary component that will affect that child’s future success.

We believe that parents, families and communities, similar to infants, learn and function best in the context of positive, healthy nurturing relationships. In order to support parents we provide the families with tools and services including assistance, support, education, advocacy, problem solving, linkages, and leadership opportunities. We do this in order to empower parents to actualize their role as primary educator.

Education

Early Head Start assists the development and learning within the context of relationships with the parent-child relationship being primary.

Parents are asked to assist in screening their child's development and setting goals for their child's learning and development in five areas of development. They include social emotional, cognitive, gross motor, fine motor and language. The parent works with their child during home visits and at other times during the week to accomplish the child's individual learning goal.

Teaching Strategies Gold is used to assess groups of children to determine areas for growth. Last year we saw a need in literacy and by incorporating a homemade book program raised the literacy level of all the children served. Parents are encouraged to have input into the school readiness Ready to Learn Goals to ensure that all children are kindergarten ready by the time they are five years old.