Head Start

HOW WE HELP

Head Start is designed to work with the whole family and encourages parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. Head Start serves families with children age three to five.  In addition to providing a free, quality preschool experience, the program offers health, nutrition and social services.  

Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from income eligible families.  We define school readiness as children being ready for school, families ready to support their children’s learning, and schools ready for the children who enter their doors. 

School readiness activities are focused around five areas:

  • Language and Literacy
  • General Knowledge (including science, math, music and movement)
  • Approaches to Learning
  • Physical Development and Health 
  • Social and Emotional Development

Additional services to families and children include:

  • Screenings for health and development
  • Nutrition, health and safety services
  • Family partnership and goal setting
  • Social services
  • Programming for children with special needs

A Typical Head Start Day

  • Center-Based/Classroom Option
    • 3.5 hour half day program, either morning or afternoon
    • Lunch is provided plus either breakfast (am) or snack (pm)
    • Large and small group learning activities for children
    • Physical activities daily (outdoors or indoors)
    • Free-choice play in stimulating classroom interest areas
    • Class size of no more than 17 children

    Please note: Parents are responsible for transportation to and from the center.

  •  Home-Based Option
    • Head Start teacher visits each parent and child in the home weekly
    • Home visits are typically 1.5 hours in length
    • Lessons are individualized to best meet each child’s needs and interests
    • Socialization experiences are twice a month; where all families meet for a group activity, planned and facilitated by the Head Start staff
  • Other Head Start Activities (for both Center-Based and Home-Based Head Start)
    • Multiple family events per year (entire family is invited)
    • Occasional field trips
    • Two home visits by classroom teachers per year
    • A minimum of two home visits by Family Service Coordinators per year
    • Two individual Parent/Teacher conferences per year
    • Opportunities for parent involvement (Policy Council, classroom volunteer, parent center committee meetings)

HOW DO I GET STARTED

Am I eligible?

CAP Agency Head Start is available in Scott, Carver, and Dakota Counties for children who are least 3 years old, but not yet 5 years old on September 1.

Head Start considers household income, child’s age and family size for eligibility.  90% of enrollment is reserved for families at or below the federal poverty level guidelines, or those eligible to receive public assistance.  10% of enrollment is reserved for children with special needs.

How do I apply?

To apply, please complete a Head Start/Early Head Start application (applications are available to the right). In addition to a completed application form, those applying for Head Start services must provide proof of income, such as:

  • A copy of your federal 1040 tax return or
  • W-2 (income for the last calendar year) or
  • Copies of your check stubs and proof of other sources of income during the previous three months: salary or wages, unemployment benefits, Interest income/other, MSA, social security benefits, proof of income from self-employment, retirement or pension income, SSI, child support/alimony, MFIP/TANF/SWP, or complete no income form

All information is confidential and is only used to determine how to best serve the needs of your family.  Please call 651-322-3500 with any questions or for assistance in completing the application.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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