Head Start and Early Head Start
About Head Start
Head Start is a program designed to give low-income preschool children a developmental edge when entering kindergarten. Although the basic elements of Head Start are regulated through federal Head Start Program Performance Standards, grantees and parents can design their individual programs to best meet the needs of the families in the local communities. PICAs response to the three areas which form a Head Start program are listed below.
PICA provides enrolled children language and literacy education, health & dental services, and disabilities services to ensure the children are healthy, well-nourished, and challenged to think and learn.
PICA staff work in partnership with parents and other community agencies to ensure families receive needed support, social services, and assistance in setting and achieving goals related to self-sufficiency and healthy family development.
PICAs management structure and programs are designed to involve and empower parents. This philosophy is reflected in our governing bodies, which includes a parent Policy Council that has decision-making authority. Like all Head Start programs across the country, parents comprise at least 51 percent of our Policy Council.
What is Early Head Start?
Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive and intensive services to pregnant women and children through age 3. Early Head Start programs have a triple mission of promoting healthy prenatal outcomes, enhancing the development of very young children, and promoting healthy family functioning.