The education curriculum is developed to meet the individual needs of children as identified through assessments. Developmentally appropriate activities are presented to children in a language rich, nurturing preschool environment.
Children are grouped in classes according to their ages.
- 6 weeks – 24 months – up to eight (8) children – Early Head Start classrooms with two teachers;
- 24 months – 36 months – up to eight (8) children – Early Head Start transition classrooms with two teachers;
- 3 year olds – up to seventeen (17) children – Head Start classrooms with one teacher and one teacher assistant;
- 3 & 4 year olds – up to twenty (20) children – Head Start classrooms with one teacher and one teacher assistant;
- 4 year olds – twenty children – Pre-K classrooms with one teacher and one teacher assistant;
The children’s eligibility age is based on the public school established date of September 1st. Although the program year starts in August, if a child meets the age requirement by September 1st, they may be eligible for the program.
Early Head Start teachers must have a minimum of a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, and Head Start teachers must hold an AA Degree in Early Childhood Education, or the equivalent.
Transition activities are provided to transition children into the program and out of the program.
Parents are encouraged to attend parent orientation, center visits, and tour the facilities in order to assist their child in the transition process.
Transition activities from the program into public school kindergarten are scheduled each spring. CSI Head Start staff works with children and families in preparing the child to enter kindergarten. Staff also assist in the transition from Early Head Start to Head Start, from Head Start to Pre-K, and to or from any other child care setting.
Parents are provided with education and training to prepare them to exercise their rights and responsibilities concerning the education of their children in the school setting in order to promote the continued involvement of Head Start parents in the education and development of their children upon transition to school.
Parents are encouraged to meet and discuss the developmental progress and abilities of their children with Head Start teachers and elementary teachers. The meetings provide opportunities for parents to raise concerns they may have about their child’s placement, receipt of necessary services, or general progress.
Letters/notes are sent home by staff informing parents of registration dates, documents needed for kindergarten registration and any additional information that is needed by kindergarten such as a parent questionnaire or information sheet.
A visit/tour to kindergarten classrooms is generally scheduled before the end of the school year for parents and children who will be leaving Head Start. Parents are encouraged to visit the kindergarten classrooms with their child. Early Head Start enrollees who will be leaving Early Head Start will visit the Head Start classrooms before the end of the school year.
Before the visit to the elementary/primary school, the teacher will discuss the transition with the children, read books about transition/change, allow children to role play and show the videos, “Kindergarten, Here I Come” and “Making the Move to Kindergarten”. Parents are invited to the center to watch the videos, “Kindergarten, Here I Come” and “Making the Move to Kindergarten”.
Domains of Learning Individualization
CSI Head Start and Early Head Start program utilizes the Creative Curriculum. The curriculum addresses all aspects of development and learning including:
- Approaches to Learning
- Creative Arts
- Language Development
- Physical Health & Development
- Social & Emotional Development
The Creative Curriculum is enhanced by activities such as:
- Zoo Phonics – alphabet and phonetics;
- Safety Sam – transportation and pedestrian safety;
- I am Moving, I am Learning – physical activities to combat childhood obesity;
- Second Steps – dealing with conflict and character building
The requirements for child observations and ongoing assessment continue throughout the child’s enrollment in the program. The Teaching Strategies Gold is used to assure the documentation of positive child outcomes. Staff and parents can follow the child’s progress and experiences to provide more meaningful curriculum experiences that support each child’s individual learning and development.