Head Start’s early learning program emphasizes language, math, science, art, physical activity and social skills to prepare children for school success.
The Head Start Day
The Head Start program uses several formats to meet the varied needs of the local community. Children can be enrolled in a traditional classroom format that meets for either a half-day (3.5 hours) or a full day (6 hours), 4 days a week (Tuesday – Friday) during the school year.
In some more rural areas of Lancaster County, Head Start services are offered in the home rather than the classroom. A Head Start home visitor meets with participating families weekly to help structure learning opportunities in the home setting. Head Start children and parents who live in the same local area get together at least twice a month for group play and learning opportunities.
Nutritious meals, including breakfast, lunch and a snack are provided to children attending the centers. Meals served depend upon the child’s schedule (e.g. a child attending for the afternoon only will receive lunch and a snack, while a child attending only in the morning will receive breakfast and lunch). The Head Start Nutritionist ensures that any food allergies are addressed and also works with parents to assess their children’s nutritional needs and help them plan healthy, affordable meals at home.
All children enrolled in Head Start receive dental and health screenings with assistance for follow-up treatment as needed. The screenings help ensure that children receive their recommended immunizations and ensure that parents understand the importance of preventive health care.
There are a variety of ways for parents to become active in Head Start from volunteering in the classroom to participating in program planning and decision-making. In addition, Head Start staff work with families to identify, establish and work toward individual goals based on specific family circumstances, and provide referrals to a broad range of community services as appropriate.
Head Start supports children with disabilities and includes them in all services and activities. Our program works closely with Lancaster Lebanon IU 13 to set and implement individualized goals for children who would benefit from additional support. Using the Teaching Pyramid Framework, behavioral health staff provides support in classrooms to ensure the success of all children. In addition, mental health professionals are available for consultation as needed, and Head Start provides referrals to behavioral health providers if further services are required.
Volunteer and In-Kind Opportunities
Head Start has many opportunities for volunteering and strives to build community partnerships that provide goods and services to the children and families we serve. The program welcomes classroom volunteers and appreciates donations in the form of books, school supplies and professional services. Please contact us for more information.