"To Improve the Well-Being of Children, Empower Families, and Strengthen Communities."
Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that focuses on assisting low-income and disadvantaged families and children. The program was created in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty. The program was designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing a comprehensive program that would meet the emotional, health, nutritional and psychological needs of preschool children from low-income and disadvantaged families.
Our central premise is that "family" is the most fundamental factor influencing the lives of children. Aside from children's educational needs, they also need a supportive, healthy home environment combined with stable and reliable relationships with adults and caregivers. In short, if you strengthen families, you automatically strengthen children.
Programs Services and Description
Head Start - Is a national program which provides comprehensive developmental services for children ages 3 to 5 and their families in 41 locations throughout the County of San Bernardino. This program provides specific services such as:
- Health and Social Services
- Developmental and Behavioral Screenings
- School Readiness
- Nutritional Services and Education
All children are screened, assessed and referred (if needed) to ensure their basic health needs are met. Also, Head Start requires that 10% of its slots be reserved for children with disabilities and/or special needs. Disability services include:
- Speech/Language Impairments
- Hearing Impairments
- Learning Disabilities
- Blindness/Visual Impairments
- Other Impairments
The Head Start school year runs from July to June (traditional) and offers the following child development options for children ages 3 - 5:
- Part Day - 3 1/2 hours per day; 9 months per year
- Full Day -10 hours per day; year round
- Home Based - One 90 minute home visit per week; 2 hours of socialization at the site (or a designated location) every 2 weeks
Parent education, family support and social services are designed to support and empower Head Start families, assisting them in becoming economically self-sufficient and helping them identify and achieve personal family goals.
Early Head Start - The Early Head Start (EHS) program was established to assist pregnant women, infants and toddlers to age 3. EHS assists with enhancing:
- Children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual development
- Assist pregnant women to access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care
- Parent education on their child's development
- Support parent's effort to fulfill their parental roles and move towards self-sufficiency
In addition, EHS services promotes healthy prenatal outcomes, enhances the development of infants and toddlers, and promotes healthy family functioning.
State Preschool - The State Preschool program is a comprehensive child development program that provides a safe and nurturing hands-on learning environment that helps each child reach his/her highest potential in the areas of:
- Social Development
- Cognitive/Creative Development
- Language Development
- Physical Development
State Preschools are located throughout the County of San Bernardino and offer a 3 hour program Monday thru Friday. Morning and afternoon classes are also available.
Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) - The EHS-CCP is a collaboration between existing EHS programs and child care to expand the delivery of high quality education and comprehensive services to low income children ages zero to 48 months and their families who participate in the child care subsidy program. The program promotes success of infant and toddler care through the ability to increase educational services with the establishment of stimulating learning environments and enhanced professional development opportunities made available to child care centers and family child care providers. The role of EHS-CCP is to leverage resources already offered to address the needs of grantees and the families they serve.
Prevention and Early Intervention - Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs provide strategies and activities that aid in teaching staff and parents the opportunity to identify social, emotional and behavioral signs/symptoms to deter onset of a behavioral condition. PEI programs also assist with linking program participants in need of additional services to:
- Appropriate Mental Health Providers
- Support Groups for Parents and Caretakers
- Primary Care Providers
Low Income First Time (LIFT) Pregnant Mothers Program - The LIFT Program improves the health and social functioning of low-income first-time mothers and their babies through home visitations by a nurse. The nurse home visitors follow a visitation schedule that consists of one 90 minute home visit per week, over a two and a half (2 1/2) year period.
Family Literacy Program - This program provides interactive literacy activities for both the parent and the child participants. Enrolled parents attend an 11 week course that meets weekly for 3 1/2 hours. Activities include:
- Books and learning material to take home
- Developmentally appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences
- Creation of a family album/scrapbook
- Assistance in establishing a routine family reading program
- Parent training on how to be the primary educator for their children and full partners in the education of their children
- Parent discussions with a peer support group
- Parent participation in child's classroom
- Adult literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency
- Assistance with increasing parents education and job skills
Pathways to Success - The Pathways to Success is an apprenticeship program that gives the opportunity to parents and volunteers to receive on the job training and a competitive edge over other candidates to move up the career ladder within the Department. Training is offered for the following positions:
- Teacher Aides
- Food Service Workers
- Center Clerks
If you are interested in these services and would like further information, please contact the center listed in our Contacts
page or call us at toll free at (888) KIDS - 025 or (888) 543 - 7025.