Head Start

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Strengthening Foundations for Positive Growth

Head Start is a federally funded program that offers comprehensive developmental services for children and families with an emphasis on health, nutrition, education and parental involvement.

Head Start focuses on the individual needs of each child and provides learning opportunities by planning developmentally appropriate activities through a ‘hands-on” curriculum. Each child is assessed three times in the program year to document the progress he or she has made in all developmental areas.

SEVCA’s Head Start program has 7 classrooms in four towns throughout Windsor County: Chester, Springfield, Windsor, and White River Junction. Each classroom provides a Teacher, Teaching Assistant, a Food Service Provider, and access to a Family Services Specialist. Recently, our program’s high standards of quality inspired an exemplary Federal Review, resulting in the much-desired Certificate of Compliance. New systems put into place addressed the following content areas: Family Services, Education and Disabilities, Mental Health and Nutrition. Click here for the Head Start application

Opportunities for career advancement and training:
1) New staff receive comprehensive Pre-Service Training prior to the beginning of the school year including a detailed training in the program’s fundamental elements, a review of the new Parent & Staff Handbook, Recruitment and Enrollment procedures, Human Resources, CPR/First Aid, Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention, Intervention and Reporting, Safety and Sanitation, and Crisis Prevention Intervention.

2) We then follow up with a home visit for each family and an introduction to the program for the parents by the teaching staff. Parents participate in orientation with their children during the first week, allowing the parents to meet one another, learn about volunteer opportunities, and resolve any transportation issues. An Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for Social and Emotional Development, is completed by parents within the first 45 days of the program.

3) We assist staff in furthering their professional development goals  beyond the minimum state and federal requirements by taking courses through an accredited college. As our most valuable resource, staff in turn agree to remain employed with the Head Start program for three years after receiving the funds to support their education.

New efforts:

  • Teaching staff are enhancing the development of science competency for children through working with the Vermont institute of Natural Science (VINS) for training and providing 60-90 minute classroom sessions in some classrooms.
  • Head Start now offers fee-for service childcare in Springfield to meet the local need for wrap-around childcare services full-time throughout the Head Start program year.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937