What is Early Head Start? Early Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children, age birth to three, through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. Additionally, Early Head Start’s mission includes promoting healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, to enhance the development of very young children, and to promote healthy family functioning.
Who do we serve? Typical Head Start/Early Head Start families are identified as having the highest need in our community and can include foster children, children with disabilities, homeless children/families, and children/families with low income.
How do children/families apply for EHS services? They can contact any Head Start/Early Head Start center or the main office at 901 Blanco Circle, Salinas. Agencies can refer families at any time and a staff person will follow up with the family. We accept applications continuously throughout the year.
What are the services offered to pregnant women and children birth to three? We meet at the family home every week, once a week, for 90 minutes with the parent (guardian) and child. During that time the assigned educator works with the family to offer educational, health, nutritional, and social service components of the program. We also offer two activities per month for all families where children have the opportunity to build social skills and parents can network.
What about children who are receiving special services? We work with families who are receiving specialized educational or developmental services as well as social services. Head Start/Early Head Start will, when possible, incorporate parent and child goals formed with other agencies and, as a team, focus on the best possible outcome for the child and their family.
What type of parent training is offered? Parent training is included in each home visit and at monthly Parent Meetings on topics of general interest or based on community need. Topics can in areas such as accessing community resources, parenting, discipline, financial literacy, health, nutrition, or dental care.
What does a typical home visit look like? Using a four step home visit model: 1) Greeting/Updates, 2) Parent Education/Goals 3) Parent/Child Experience, 4) Reflection/Planning
We address topics such as:
1) How should I discipline my child?
2) My baby isn’t sleeping!
3) My child is a picky eater – how can I be sure he/she is getting enough food?
4) Is my child doing all the things he/she should be able to do at his/her age?