The Head Start Program started more than 50 years ago and uses a comprehensive approach to child development and school readiness for children from birth to five years of age.
The ultimate goal of the program is to prepare children with the necessary skills, knowledge, and emotional well-being to succeed in school and later in life.
Head Start implements curriculum and early learning practices that promote development in language and literacy, cognition, approaches to learning, physical health and motor development, and social and emotional development.
Each child enrolled completes a physical exam, health and developmental screenings, immunizations, dental exam, and nutrition assessment, and families receive mental health support with assistance from local mental health providers.
Head Start considers each family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and encourages parent engagement and input.
The program helps create strong family bonds, which are essential in achieving school readiness and healthy development goals for children.
Head Start partners with area public schools to ensure early learning services are provided to children with disabilities.
There are Head Start programs in every state and United States territory and helps over one million children each year.
It was originally started in 1965 as a preschool program for low-income children.
North Central Missouri College sponsors the Head Start Program in Caldwell, Daviess, Grundy, Harrison, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Putnam, and Sullivan counties.