Early Head Start
THE FEDERAL GUIDELINES AND THE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Early Head Start programs operate under a common set of Performance Standards which require, as a condition of Federal Early Head Start funding, Early Head Start grantees to implement a comprehensive program model.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH SERVICES SUB-PART B
Early Head Start is a Federally-Funded program for children birth to three. Early Head Start programs are operated by local non-profit organizations in almost every county in the country. Children who attend EHS participate in a variety of education activities. They also receive healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy exploring and learning ina safe environment.
Program staff provides children with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically. Skilled professionals will review your child’s records for any health problems. Staff will arrange vision and hearing tests, offer a nutrition assessment and help children receive follow-up care. A mental health professional is availablefor children and families.
The Palmdale School district Early Head Start program uses Creative Curriculum as our core model. We include materials from the Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers (PITC), Scholastic, and Teacher’s Personal Resources. The staff is excited to care for and nurture infants and toddlers. It is a pleasure to children experience and explore their caregivers are facilitators of learning. According to research, infants are self-starters when it comes to learning and caregivers can best facilitate intellectual growth by being responsive to infants cues, rather than initiating “cognitive” activities. It is also dully noted that caregivers can best facilitate learning by:
Allowing long blocks of uninterrupted time for play
Observing and responding to the infant’s cues and play
Supporting play by offering the least amount of help needed to keep it going
Using caregiving routines as opportunities for exploration and interaction
SCREENING AND HOME VISITS
A developmental screening in both the home base option and center base is administered to every child in the program within 45 days of entrance into the program. The screening process is the preliminary step used to determine if sensory behavioral and developmental skills are progressing as expected or if there are causes for concern or perceived need for further evaluation. Similar assessments are administered throughout the year to determine each child’s strengths and needs. Information from the assessment is used to establish strategies to support the development of the child within the context of the classroom as well as his family, culture, and environment. Weekly home visits are required for home base children and center base teachers are required to make two home visits per year to discuss the child’s progress and any concerns that may arise. At this time, parents and teacher work together to create an Individual Development Plan as a focus for areas that the caregiver and parents wish to have the child develop. This may include, for example, social, cognitive or gross/fine motor skill development. Two student parent conferences are provided each school year and ongoing case management meetings are scheduled during the school year to review and discuss each child’s development. Please note that classroom observations enhances children’s learning and development and provides valuable input forthe progress reports which can be discussed during parent conferences and/or home visits.
Home visitors and parents work collaboratively to establish strategies that will support the development of the child within the context of his/her home and the socialization gatherings. Infants receive approximately four assessments during the course of one year, which will track their developmental stages and provide early interventions.
Last Modified on December 4, 2012