The Self Help Head Start Program provides a comprehensive developmental service for low-income, pre-school children ages 3 to 5 years of age, primarily. Head Start also provides social services for their families. Specific services for children focus on education, socio-emotional development, physical and mental health , and nutrition.
Head Start began in 1965 in the Office of Economic Opportunity as an innovative way in which to serve children of low income families and is now administered by the Administration for Children and Families. The cornerstone of this program is parent and community involvement–which has made it one of the most successful pre-school programs in the country.
The Head Start Program is based on the premise that all children share certain needs and that children of low income families, in particular, can benefit from a comprehensive developmental program to meet those needs. The Head Start approach make the following assumptions:
A child can benefit from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program to foster development.
Because the family is the principal influence on the child’s development, the child’s family, as well as the community, must be involved in the program.
The overall goal of the Head Start Program is to bring about a greater degree of social competence in children of low-income families. Social competence means the child’s everyday effectiveness in dealing with both the present environment and later responsibilities in school and in life. Social competence takes into account the interrelatedness of cognitive and intellectual development, physical and mental health,nutritional needs as well as other factors. To achieve social competence, Head Start objectives and performance standards provide for:
- Improvement of the child’s health and physical abilities, including appropriate steps to correct physical and mental health problems and to enhance every child’s access to an adequate diet.
- Improvement of the family’s attitude toward future health care and physical abilities.
- Encouragement of self-confidence, spontaneity, curiosity and self-discipline that will assist the child’s social and emotional health.
- Enhancement of the child’s mental processes and skill, with particular attention to conceptual and communication skills.
- Establishment of patterns and expectations for success for the child that will create a climate of confidence for present and future learning efforts and overall development.
- Enhancement of the ability of the child and the family to relate to one another and to others.
- Development of a sense of dignity and self-worth within the child and his family.
Head Start regulations stipulate no more than 20 children per room, with a lead teacher and a teacher. Hours of operation are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The program year begins the end of September and runs through the end of May each year. Transportation may be available for children depending on need and availability. Children receive a nutritious meal served family style for breakfast and lunch each day. All children are taught to wash their hands before meals and to brush their teeth after meals. The children are encouraged to develop good personal health habits. A nutritious afternoon snack is also provided.
Head Start gives children a head start in life by providing them with activities that help them to develop mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically. Head Start recognizes that parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. Parent involvement is not only welcomed but greatly encouraged. Parents can participate as full partners with Head Start staff to help children progress. Head Start staff offers children love, acceptance, understanding, and the opportunity to learn and to experience success. Head Start children socialize with others, solve problems, and have other experiences that help them become enthusiastic, self-confident learners. The children also improve their listening and speaking skills. They spend time in stimulating settings where they form good habits and enjoy playing with educational materials and working on tasks with classmates. Children will leave Head Start more prepared for kindergarten, excited about learning, and ready to succeed. Health professionals will assess children for any health problems. These professionals will arrange vision and hearing tests, and assist parents with needed immunizations. Head Start offers nutritional assessments and dental exams as well. Children with health needs receive follow-up services. Mental health and other services are available for children and families with special needs.
SELF HELP, INC. HEAD START
2014 – 2015
Community, Friends, Partners,
The Self Help, Inc. Head Start program began school on September 29, 2014 with 687 children enrolled, 607 in the half-day program, and 80 children attending full day, full year.
Eighty children participated in our wraparound program which resulted in parents maintaining their employment. Seventy-six parents are employed and two are attending
Thirty-five parents enrolled in the Early Childhood Course that is being provided on site. This course began in late January. Twenty-eight parents completed the course and after nine months volunteering in Head Start classrooms, five have attained their Entry Level EEC license which allows them to be employed in a childcare program.
Self Help Inc. also facilitated 68 parent meetings and 65 parent trainings during the past year.
Self Help Inc. Head Start offered a 50th Anniversary Celebration Family Days at each of our six sites which offered food, fun and family activities. Approximately 800 children and family members participated in the events.
Self Help Inc. Head Start collaborated with E.A.S.T. Youth Center and the Old Colony YMCA to help recruit 50 children, facilitate pick up and drop off of campers and served as host for the end of the season “Family Day” which was attended by 130 children and family members. Fifty low income children with disabilities attended the eight week camp. The program also partnered with the federal food program that offered breakfast and lunch for the 25 campers that attended each day. The program was offered at no cost to all participants through the partnership. The total donated cost to operate the program was approximately $58,000.00.
During the 2014-2015 school year Self Help Inc. Head Start offered CPR/First Aid at three sites, weekly ESOL classes and Financial Fitness training (this year in English and Spanish). Self Help also offers a Child Growth and Development class for parents who would like to begin a career in early childhood education. Parents, considering this type of career, are also encouraged to apply to become a substitute teacher. Cooking Matters was offered on site in the fall and in the spring last year. This is a six week course in which parents are taught how to prepare healthy meals and are provided with the groceries to make these meals at home. We also offered Classes on extreme couponing as well as a resume writing workshops. Other trainings include financial literacy, nutrition, helping your picky eater and CPR/first aid.
Kindergarten registration for our Brockton families is completed on site to make this transition as easy as possible and supports appropriate placements in the Brockton Public Schools. We have the Brockton Public Schools provide bi-lingual screening onsite for kindergarten children.
Head Start hosted 10 parent meetings each month at our various locations. Parents had a number of choices of which parent meeting to attend at our main site as we offer them in English and Spanish, French or Cape Verdean Creole with translation services offered. We have daytime meetings as well as a night meeting to accommodate parents who are working or in school. Self Help Inc. Head Start also hosts a number of parent child activities in the classroom such as the Harvest Feast, Literacy Fair and Certificate Day. During the parent meetings, parents are educated on our school readiness goals.
During the 2014-2015 school year Self Help Inc. Head Start offered CPR/First Aid at 3 sites, weekly ESOL classes and Financial Fitness training (this year in English and Spanish). Self Help also offers a Child Growth and Development class for parents who would like to begin a career in early childhood education. Parents, considering this type of career, are also encouraged to apply to become a substitute teacher. Cooking Matters was offered on site in the fall and in the spring last year. This is a 6 week course in which parents are taught how to prepare healthy meals and are provided with the groceries to make these meals at home. We also offered Classes on extreme couponing as well as a resume writing workshop.. Other trainings include financial literacy, nutrition, helping your picky eater and CPR/first aid among others.
Kindergarten registration for our Brockton families is completed on site in the public schools to make this transition as easy as possible and supports appropriate placements in the Brockton schools.
Head Start hosted 10 parent meetings each month at our various locations. Parents had a number of choices of which parent meeting to attend at our main site as we offer ones in English and Spanish and others with French, or Cape Verdean Creole translation. We have daytime meetings as well as a night meeting to accommodate parents who are working or in school. Self Help also hosts a number of parent child activities in the classroom such as the Harvest Feast, Literacy Fair, Certificate Day and more. We provide Mom’s and more and Dad’s and More groups at each of our 3 main sites monthly.
We partnered with Cradles to Crayons which is a valuable resource, provided to most of our Head Start families. Cradles to Crayons provided children in our program, living in poverty with essential items free of charge that they need to thrive at school, home and at play. They were supplied with Items included coats, shoes, clothing, books, and toys as well as items such as cribs, car seats and diapers with orders being placed in early fall and again in early spring to meet the clothing needs of our children.
This year we had several state representatives come to our program sites to read to our children, toured our facilities and spoke with Head Start parents and staff about our program and its benefits to children and families.
This past year Policy Council parents attended Head Start Conferences and State-Wide meetings with Head Start Director and staff. These conferences offer a wide variety of educational opportunities for our parents to learn and grow and become strong advocates for themselves and their families.
Self Help Inc. Head Start also partners with the Family Center as a food distribution site.
Local college interns are placed at Head Start from Bridgewater State University, Wheaton College, Massasoit College and Fisher College in both family service and Education content areas. This past summer we hosted eight Youth Works student that volunteered in Head Start in the areas of education, food service and maintenance which gave them valuable job skills and workplace knowledge and experience.
Our Mental Health Team provided a Positive Solutions Parenting group which gave parents support in the areas of behavior management, parenting, health, nutrition and safety. At the conclusion of the program the parents continued on as a parent support group.
The Mental Health Team provided three enrichment groups for children, very active children, children with Selective Mutism and children transitioning to kindergarten.
The Self Help Head Start Program offers both a half-day Head Start experience, and for families who are working, attending school or are enrolled in a training program, a full day Head Start Experience. Priority is given to children with special needs and family concerns.
The half day program is free of charge and the full day program has a sliding-fee scale that is dependent on the families total income and ability to pay. The Head Start Income Guidelines for 2009 are as follows:
Your family is income-eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start if:
- your family is getting TAFDC or SSI
- or your family’s gross income is not more than 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)
(some higher income families may qualify. See the *Note below.)
|Size of family||Annual Income|
Enrollment in the Head Start program is ongoing. Preschool children whose parents reside in the Self Help service area and are low-income (meet above income guidelines) age 3 to 5 are eligible for the program. Working families who do not meet the above income guidelines and have a child age 3 to 5 may still be eligible for Head Start Program through the Community Partnerships Program if they meet that programs income guidelines. Under the Community Partnerships program families pay a sliding fee based on total family income.
To enroll your child in the Self Help Head Start Program please visit our main office at the Ulysses G. Shelton, Jr. Head Start Center, 370 Howard St., Brockton or call the Head Start Administrative offices at 508-587-1716 to ask questions or set up an appointment. Applications will also be accepted from any of our Head Start locations. In order to process your application you should bring the following documents with you when you apply for enrollment:
- Proof of income (4 pay stubs, W-2 form, or print out from your Public Assistance provider
- Child’s birth certificate or baptismal record
- Social Security cards for all family members
- Signed documentation from a Physician, Therapist or other medical specialist if your child has any disabilities or handicaps
- Up to date immunizations with most recent physical informtion.
- Dental record if available