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The Ins and Outs of Head Start

The Ins and Outs of Head Start. Jessica K Edinger Northcentral University. What is Head Start ?.

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The Ins and Outs of Head Start

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  1. The Ins and Outs of Head Start Jessica K Edinger Northcentral University

  2. What is Head Start? • Head Start is a federally funded early childhood education program serving three to five year olds from low-income families (and the parents) with “schooling, health, nutrition and social welfare services.”(Ludwig & Phillips, 257) • Head Start is run through local agencies but is funded and guidelines are made by the federal government.

  3. History of Head Start • In 1965, President Johnson launched Head Start as part of his “War on Poverty” (Deming, 111; Ludwig & Phillips, 257) • Originally developed to give a “head start” for children entering first grade who did not attend kindergarten. With public schools providing (and most states requiring) kindergarten, Head Start has began serving younger students. (Morrison, 134) • 1965-2003, over 21 million children have been involved with Head Start (Barnett & Hustedt, 16)

  4. Operations • 90% of families enrolled must be at or below federal poverty level, be on public assistance or be in the foster care system. 10% may be over the poverty guidelines, 10% may be students with disabilities. (Deming, 113; Morrison, 134) • 9 month, full or part day program. (Deming, 113) • In 2007, requirements were made stating that at least 50% of Head Start teachers need to have a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education or related field. Also included were professional development plans for all staff members and research based practices must be used to promote and increase literacy. (Morrison, 136)

  5. Family Services • Head Start and Early Head Start are considered to be entitlement programs. This means that all the families who are eligible by income guidelines are entitled to all program services, unfortunately only 1/3 of these families receive all those services due to lack of funding. (Morrison, 134) • These programs provide “comprehensive health, nutrition, educational and social services” to help students and families reach their full potential in school and in life. (Morrison, 134)

  6. Nutritional Programs • Head start provides medical, dental and mental health services to children and families enrolled in programs. (Deming, 113; Becker, et.al, 1970)

  7. Family Partnerships/Parental Involvement • Research has shown that parents of Head Start children read aloud more to their children. The same research also showed that those parents stay more involved in their students education, even after no longer enrolled in Head Start. (Morrison, 135) • Most program allow parents to come into the classroom and volunteer whenever they like, as parent involvement is an essential part of the program. Parents are encouraged to share family customs, language, careers, and fun.

  8. Curriculum • From the beginning, Head Start was created to look at the “whole child development” rather than academic preparation. (Deming, 113) • In 2011, all Head Start programs were required to meet new standards in order for grants to be renewed. Head Start had to develop school readiness goals, including language, literacy, general knowledge, cognition, motor development, physical well-being, and social/emotional development. (Morrison, 137) • The framework created (see next slide) ensures that all head start students are working towards the same outcomes. It also impacts what all preschool children are to learn, not just Head Start. (Morrison, 134)

  9. Taken from: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ohs/resource/hs-child-development-early-learning-framework

  10. Developed in 1995 to serve pregnant women and children birth to three year olds • Weekly home visits, 90 minutes long to support primary caregivers in their role of supporting development in the home environment ( Becker, et. Al., 1970) • Currently, 10% of Head Start income is used for Early Head Start. (Morrison, 138)

  11. How Head Startguidelines effect other programs • “Recent suggestions that have been made for increasing the cost-effectiveness of Head Start funding, including changing the program design, making the program more like some of the newer state pre-K programs in operation around the country, or even diverting some Head Start funding to these state programs.” (Ludwig & Phillips, 258) • Federal government is using head start as a means to try and reform all of early childhood education. Head start would like to be used a model for all other programs – what and how teachers teach and how Head Start operates. (Morrison, 138) • The framework created for Head Start child outcomes impacts what all preschool students learn, not just those students in Head Start. (Morrison, 134)

  12. References • Barnett, Steven W.; Hustedt, Jason T. (2015). Head Start’s Lasting Benefit. Infants and Young Children, Pages 16-24. • Becker, Brandon D.; Patterson, Freda; Fagan, Jay S.; Whitaker, Robert C. (2016) Mindfulness among Home Visitors in Head Start and the Quality of Their Working Alliance with Parents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, pages 1969-1979. • Deming, David. (2009). Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, pages 111-134. • Ludwig, Jens; Phillips, Deborah A. (2008). Long-Term Effects of Head Start on Low-Income Children. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, pages 257-268. • Morrison, G. S. (2014). Fundamentals of early childhood education. (Seventh Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

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