Head Start is designed to foster healthy development and school readiness in children from low-income families. Programs deliver a range of services, responsive and appropriate to each child’s and each family’s heritage and experience, that encompass all aspects of a child’s development and learning. Per Head Start Program Performance Standards, there are several program service areas that must be included in a Head Start program:
Disabilities and Mental Health: Fully including children with disabilities is a required element of Head Start. This initiative is beneficial to all involved: children with and without disabilities, parents of children with and without disabilities, and staff members.
Education/School Readiness: Ensuring children enrolled in Head Start begin school ready to learn is a program goal. Activities are directed toward skill and knowledge domains and domain elements. Indicators of each child’s progress are incorporated into program planning and assessment.
Family and Community Partnerships/Parent Engagement: Head Start recognizes the vital contributions made by parents and community members. Both groups are involved in the operation, governance and evaluation of this program.
Health and Nutrition: Wellness is recognized as a significant contributor to each child’s ability to thrive and develop. Accordingly, health screenings evaluate the children’s overall health status and regular health check-ups and good practices in oral health, hygiene, nutrition, personal care and safety are incorporated into the program.
Lake County Head Start was created in 1965 and added Geauga County in 1968. Throughout the years the program has seen many changes and has managed to keep up with the ever-changing federal and state regulations that guide the program. Currently, the program serves 325 children and their families in three centers. We currently have centers in Willowick, Huntsburg and Painesville.