Head Start, Early Head Start, and other early childhood programs are committed to ensuring that children are healthy and ready for school. Programs recognize that strong families are at the heart of children’s success. Each program sets goals, develops objectives, and chooses strategies to support progress toward positive outcomes for families. Learn more about these Family Outcomes of the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework using the resources below.
Many people find it hard to understand health jargon. The better we understand shared health, oral health, and mental health information, the healthier choices we can make. Head Start and Early Head Start programs are responsible for helping parents decipher this “health talk.” They also encourage all families to engage with an ongoing source of continuous and culturally competent care.
Family culture and beliefs have an impact on health practices. There are several key elements to supporting health literacy and family engagement, including understanding the unique cultures and languages of the families served. Programs also should provide interesting and diverse family health education opportunities, including prenatal and post-partum education. Implementing a strong health literacy program can help!
Research shows that what happens during the first five years of life is critical to healthy child development. Head Start’s comprehensive focus on the five core domains of birth to 5 development is essential to children getting ready for school.
Head Start programs offer services that support families and strengthen communities so that children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. They focus on early identification, treatment, and health promotion. Staff use these health strategies to make sure children engage in learning. They are critical parts of Head Start’s school readiness activities.
Program leaders plan health services that help children meet school readiness goals. They use many different strategies to identify health concerns, offer timely treatment, and promote children’s health. Including these strategies in school readiness planning ensures children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn.
This year, we celebrate 50 years of Head Start. It is an historic milestone that presents a perfect opportunity to reflect on how we have evolved. It also encourages us to renew our continued passion and commitment for providing high-quality services to our families.
Throughout 2015, we are reflecting on, and celebrating, five key themes:
- Head Start Is a Community Effort. Community partners are essential for success.
- Families Are Powerful Partners. Parents are lifelong educators, nurturers, and advocates of their children.
- Staff Are the Heart of Head Start. We transformed the teaching of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers into a profession.
- Staff, Children, and Families Are Rooted in Culture. Community diversities are integral and reflected in our Head Start programs.
- 32 Million Reasons to Be Proud. Head Start and Early Head Start have prepared 32 million children for school and life through comprehensive services that develop the whole child.
Explore the resources in this portal to enhance your celebrations of Head Start past, present, and future. We also invite you to continue sharing your success stories on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center and with your Head Start families, community partners, and local media.
View this 20-minute educational video to learn how toxic stress can impact a child’s lifelong health and well-being. Also, find out how Head Start programs and health care professionals can support children and families to help prevent toxic stress. The user-friendly guide shows how best to use this resource. It also includes a breakdown of the video segments by topic area.