What is Head Start?

Head Start/Early Head Start is a federally funded program which provides quality early childhood education experiences to children ages birth to five. The children are from low-income or at-risk families or the child has an identified disability.

The program provides developmentally appropriate learning experiences to prepare children for school. The program also works to support the child’s development through health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Head Start and Early Head Start programs work with parents, caregivers and families to achieve goals in support of the child in areas such as housing, employment, transportation, financial security, and school readiness. These services may be provided through center-based or home based options.

Services we provide

RCCDC programs provide many different services to address the needs of your child and family. We believe that all of these are important to your child’s first learning experience.

Below is an extensive list of the services we provide and their descriptions. Click on a topic for a brief overview, then click “learn more” for further details.

Special Needs Services

RCCDC provides screenings and ongoing assessments of children to identify any need for special services. If you believe that your child has a special need, please tell your Teacher, Family Advocate, or Center Director about your concerns. If follow-up is needed, we may refer your child for further evaluation. Parents are always involved in the referral, evaluation, and goal setting process for their child. Staff members work closely with families and community agencies to provide services to meet the special needs of children.

Family Services

Our goal is to work with parents to build trust; identify family goals and strengths; and help parents obtain services and support. Staff members can provide referrals for resources in the community, such as food, clothing, transportation, and counseling.

Nutrition Services

The program provides foods that help meet your child's daily nutritional needs by serving healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Children and adults participate in family style meals served in the classrooms. Meals are part of education in our program. Children are encouraged, but never forced, to eat all the foods on the daily menu. We do not give candy to the children as a treat, reward, or part of any meal. The monthly newsletter includes the menu for all meals to be served during the month.

Health Services

A child who does not feel well cannot learn as much as a healthy child. In order to participate in the program your child must receive health screenings and follow-up services.

Mental Health Services

Good mental health for a child and his family is important for success in school and life. RCCDC programs help families and children to feel good about themselves, develop healthy relationships, manage daily stress, and solve problems. Mental health classroom activities provide quiet times and active times. They provide materials and opportunities for each child to explore, experiment, create, and question. The classroom is planned to provide opportunities to get along with others and make friends. This is an important part of creating positive mental health for your child.

Education Services

You are your child's most important teacher. Young children learn academic and social skills by playing with objects and interacting with people. Classrooms have materials to help your child learn early reading, writing, math, and science skills based on his or her developmental level. Your child’s teachers will assess his or her learning needs and accomplishments throughout the year. The teachers will then plan learning activities based on these assessments.

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