Every year we welcome approximately 2,000 new families with children ages birth to five into our program throughout Travis County. For over 46 years we have been committed to making a difference in the lives of children, striving to serve the most vulnerable at‐risk children and their families in our community including children who are homeless, in foster care, and with special needs.
Our focus remains steadfast on providing engaging and positive learning experiences, school readiness and successfully transitioning from Head Start into kindergarten. School readiness goals are achieved by providing effective early childhood education with balanced program activities planned for the development of concepts and skills. This is accomplished through a comprehensive, balanced curriculum in which a child is actively involved in his or her own learning. It provides the foundation to build future developmental needs. Intellectual, physical, social and emotional development are given priority in the program.
Early Head Start (EHS) for 0 to 3-year-olds:
Designed to serve pregnant women, infants, toddlers and parents. EHS is a comprehensive Early Education and Child Development Program providing a variety of activities that help children grow mentally, socially, physically and emotionally. Our infants and toddlers receive all of the Head Start comprehensive services, such as early education, health, dental, nutrition, mental health, social services, parent training, and parental involvement opportunities. To accommodate the unique needs of our families, EHS offers both center-based and home-based learning environments.
Head Start for 3 to 5 year-olds:
Head Start is a comprehensive early education and child development program enhancing a child's cognitive, social, and emotional development. The program provides a learning environment that supports children's growth in many areas such as language, literacy, and social and emotional development based on each child's individual needs. All children in Head Start benefit from a comprehensive health program, promoting preventive health care and assistance in establishing a medical home.
Home Based Services 0-5 year olds:
Our in-home services are designed to serve stay-at-home mothers or mothers-to-be. The goal is to support mothers to become their child's first teacher. Services are provided by trained home-based teachers who conduct hour-and-a-half weekly visits that include instructional and parenting education to mothers, and modeling techniques with the child while the mother observes.
The program utilizes the "Parents as Teachers" and Big Day for PreK curriculum which are both nationally recognized. Parents are offered the opportunity to attend two group socializations each month to observe their children interacting with other children, socialize with other mothers and participate in a parent education presentation. In addition, to ensure that home-based children receive the full range of Head Start services, the home-based teacher and Family Advocate serve as a case manager for health, dental, nutrition, mental health and special needs services.
Parent, Family and Community Engagement-
Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child's first and most important teacher. Programming helps build relationships with families that support family well-being and many other important areas. Parents' positive involvement in the early childhood stage can help in their child's cognitive development as well as school readiness and achievement.
Parent involvement provides opportunities for parent participation in a variety of program activities that support child and adult development, including policy and Child Inc program decision making.
Family Engagement provides ongoing, goal-directed relationships between Child Inc staff and families that are mutual, culturally responsive, and that support what is best for children and families both individually and collectively. Staff and families share responsibility for the learning and development of children, the progress toward outcomes for children and families, and for parent involvement in our program.