Head Start “Head Start is a celebration of human diversity and creativity” Head Start Parent Involvement Coordinator California By Nicole King,Stephanie Cullen, and Emily Gaska
Thesis Statement • Head Start is a comprehensive program that has provided millions of disadvantaged children with pre-kindergarten education, medical services, and family support services throughout the years.
Head Start Overview • Created by a group of child development experts in 1964 • Funding is through Federal and State dollars and is sponsored by a variety of community-based agencies • Families that are eligible must: * fall below the federal poverty line, which is $18, 400 for a family of four * have children that are between the ages of 3 and 5 years old
Head Start Overview cont. * Children with Special Needs also make up a percentage of the program • Head Start agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of: • * Education and early childhood development • * Medical • * Dental • * Mental health • * Nutrition • * Parent involvement
Benefits of Head Start • Increases children’s cognitive skills, self-esteem, and motivation • Improves social behavior, language development, and sense of self-empowerment • Children develop behavior patterns that prepare them for future successes, for example learning to pay attention and how to engage in tasks • Children show signs of less aggression
Benefits • Because children are able to choose their own activities, they learn to initiate their own learning * This in turn encourages children to solve their own daily problems and gives them a sense of control in their unstable home environments
Benefits • Long term studies comparing Head Start students to disadvantaged, non-Head Start students show that Head Start students: * Are less apt to be held back in school (Gotts, 1989; Irvine, 1982; Palmer, 1983) * Are less likely to be placed in Special Ed classes (Gray et al., 1982; Irvine, 1982; Levenstien et al., 1983) * Are more likely to graduate from high school (Fuerst & Fuerst, 1993; Gotts, 1989; Schweinhart et al., 1993)
Benefits * Have less criminal activity * Earn a higher salary (Schweinhart et al., 1993) • Parent involvement in their child’s development increases with the knowledge they gain through the program
Good Start, Grow Smart • In 2002, The Bush Administration outlined the new educational reform to prepare children to read and succeed in school with improved Head Start and early childhood development programs.
Proposed Changes • Mandatory standardized tests in literacy, language, and numeracy skills • New education requirements for head start teachers • Head Start funds will be delegated to State Governments
Opponents to Good Start, Grow Smart • States will be capable of cutting the Head Start Program altogether • The program will become a one-dimensional literacy program • According to current qualitative research, Head Start is adequately preparing young children for kindergarten
Conclusion • The philosophy of Head Start is, “A child can benefit most from a comprehensive disciplinary program to foster development and remedy problems as expressed in a broad range of services. The child’s entire family, as well as community, must be involved. The Head Start program is a family focused program . The Head Start program will provide children the opportunity to develop to their maximum potential.” (National Head Start Association)