About this program
Head Start is a federal program for preschool children from low-income families. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities. They receive medical and dental care, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting. SNMCAC currently operates Head Start centers in Eddy and Chaves counties. Head Start is comprised of four major components: Education, Health, Parent Involvement, and Social Services. Federal performance standards ensure that every Head Start program provides the services necessary to meet the goals of each of the following components.
Head Start’s educational program is designed to meet each child’s individual needs. It also aims to meet the needs of the community served and its ethnic and cultural characteristics. If communities have a majority of bilingual children, for example, at least one teacher or aid must speak their native language.
Head Start emphasizes the importance of early identification of health problems. Since many preschool children of low-income families have never seen a doctor or dentist, Head Start provides every child with a comprehensive health care program, including medical, dental, mental health, and nutrition services.
Parents are the most important influence on a child’s development. An essential part of every Head Start program is the involvement of parents in parent education, program planning and operating activities. Many serve as members of Policy Councils and have a voice in administrative and managerial decisions.
The social services component of Head Start represents an organized method of assisting families to assess their needs, and then providing those services that will build upon the individual’s and family’s strengths to meet their own needs. Some of the activities that the social services staff use to assist families to meet their needs are: community outreach, referrals, family need assessments, providing information about available community resources and how to obtain and use them, recruitment and enrollment of children, and emergency assistance and/or crisis intervention.
Eddy & Chaves County Head Start serves 659 (3-5 year old) children and families throughout Carlsbad, Artesia, Roswell and surrounding areas. We provide services at six locations, as listed below.
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