Head Start Programs promote school readiness for children from infants to preschool ages. The children eligible for Head Start are from low-income homes. Head Start Programs provide early learning and development including social and emotional skills, language skills, skills needed to provide healthy mental and physical development and skills that involve families in the learning and development of their child.
Head Start Programs deliver services through agencies that are run by non-profits organizations, schools and community-based organizations.
HISTORY OF HEAD START
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services “Head Start Programs have served more than 36 million children since 1965, growing from an eight-week demonstration project to include full-day/full-year services and many program options. Currently, Head Start grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Head Start Programs serve over 1 million children and their families each year in urban, suburban, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories, including American Indian and Alaska Native and Migrant and Seasonal communities.”
WHAT DO CHILDREN WHO ARE READY FOR SCHOOL LOOK LIKE?
- Have strong social skills.
- Can cope emotionally with being separated from their parents.
- Are relatively independent in their own personal care.
- Have a curiosity about the world and a desire to learn.
WHAT AGES ARE MOST CRITICAL IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT?
The most important years in a child's development are from birth to age five. Children's experiences and relationships that are formed during these years determine how their brain develops. In fact, by the time children reach age five, 90% of a child's brain is already developed.
Recent brain research indicates that birth to age three are the most important years in a child's development.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CHILDREN'S NEEDS ARE NOT MET?
Unmet needs can lead to feelings that we consider negative–anger, confusion, disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, irritation, sadness, loneliness, and embarrassment, to name only a few.
ARISE preschool life skills curriculum can be utilized by Head Start Programs to improve school readiness by emphasizing social and emotional skills and providing healthy mental and physical development.