To be a leading, professional and culturally diverse organization that maintains standards for excellence in early childhood education and family enrichment, achieved through sound pre-school practices, qualified personnel, ongoing training, parental involvement and meaningful community partnerships.
The Tuskegee-Macon County Head Start Program believes that each child is unique and is entitled to an individualized, guided educational experience in a safe learning environment. Head Start believes that the human spirit is nurtured when parents and children are engaged together in the learning process. Head Start believes that when economically challenged families are provided with health, nutrition and social services, their financial stability and quality of life will improve. Head Start believes that when resources such as training, educational opportunities, job placement and community partnerships are provided, families and children are further empowered to succeed!
What is Head Start?
Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages three to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth in the following domains:
- language and literacy;
- cognition and general knowledge;
- physical development and health;
- social and emotional development; and
- approaches to learning.
Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social, and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.
Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. Head Start programs build relationships with families that support:
- family well-being and positive parent-child relationships;
- families as learners and lifelong educators;
- family engagement in transitions;
- family connections to peers and community; and
- families as advocates and leaders.
What is Early Head Start?
The Early Head Start (EHS) Program is an evidence-based, federally funded program that provides comprehensive services to low-income infants and toddlers, their families, pregnant women, and their families. Early Head Start is designed to nurture healthy attachments between parent and child, child and caregiver.
The mission of EHS is to support healthy prenatal outcomes and enhance the intellectual, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers to promote success in school and life. Center-based services: Education and child development services are delivered primarily in a classroom setting, which is located in an Early Head Start center, school, or child care center. Staff members also visit family homes at least twice per year.
An Early Head Start class that serves children under 36 months old has two teachers with no more than eight children but can have up to three teachers with no more than nine children. Each teacher is assigned consistent, primary responsibility for no more four children to promote continuity of care for individual children. The Head Start Program Performance Standards require continuity of care that provides services to infants and toddlers with the least disruptive and most stable ongoing care. The program minimizes teacher changes throughout a child’s enrollment, whenever possible.