Head Start programs promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and others services to enrolled children and families. Services are also family-centered. They engage parents in their children's learning and help them in making progress toward their educational, literacy and employment goals. Significant emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents in the administration of Head Start programs.
In order to reach those most in need of Head Start services we develop and implement an ongoing process that is designed to actively inform all families with Head start eligible children within the recruitment area of the availability of services and encourage them to apply for admission to the program.
Seasonal Head Start offer half day center based services from September to May
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and Early Head Start offer full day center based services from April to December
Our Head Start programs are enriched with other components that expand the classroom experience to the outdoors and to the homes of our children.
Health, Safety, Nutrition, and Disabilities
Head Start's commitment to wellness embraces a comprehensive vision of health for children, families, and staff. The objective of Child Health and Development Services is to ensure that, through collaboration among families, staff, and health professionals, all child health and developmental concerns are identified, and children and families are linked to an ongoing source of continuous, accessible care to meet their basic health needs.
The objective of Education and Early Childhood Development is to provide every child with a safe, nurturing, engaging, enjoyable, and secure learning environment in order to help them gain the awareness, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in their present environment, and to deal with later responsibilities in school and in life. Each child is treated as an individual in an inclusive community that values, respects, and responds to diversity. The varied experiences provided by the program support the continuum of children's growth and development, which includes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child.
Disabilities Services and Mental Health
Our organization's mission is to strengthen the Latino family by promoting self-sufficiency through culturally competent social services. To better serve the community, our goal is to have 10 percent or more of our enrolled students be children with disabilities or special needs. Currently in our five Head Start centers we are working with over 11 percent of children with special needs. Centro works closely with local education providers, the Baby Watch Early Intervention program, and other organizations to better the needs of our children with disabilities.
All Head Start classrooms have a qualified teacher with a Child Development Associate credential, (CDA), an Early Childhood Associate, or Bachelors in Early Childhood or related area, with experience in teaching preschool or infants and toddlers, or a State awarded certificate for preschool that meets or exceeds the requirement of a CDA. In addition, teachers in Montessori classrooms are required to obtain an Early Childhood Montessori Education certification. Teacher assistants in those classrooms are also required to have a paraprofessional Montessori Education certification.
Keep the Window Open
Watch the two-minute video narrated by Maria Shriver that spotlights the importance of the window Head Start opens to thousands of children during their first and most critical years of learning.