No other early childhood program seeks at-risk children and families and provides the depth, breadth, and scope of services that Head Start does. The extraordinary commitment to helping children and families be successful makes Head Start vital to our community.
Child Health Services
Children’s health is a critical factor in being ready for school. Early health habits including preventative care, nutrition, oral health, and physical development, are important to young children’s learning and lifelong healthy living. Through partnering with families, staff and health professionals ensure that all enrolled children have timely screenings and immunizations and link families to ongoing and follow up care to meet their health needs.
Child Screening and Assessment
Each child receives developmental, health, including social-emotional, and sensory screenings (hearing and vision), early in enrollment to identify any possible need for services, such as skill building, behavior support, or follow up evaluation.
Child screening and assessment identifies valuable information about each child’s interests, strengths, and needs. Screening provides a snapshot of whether a child’s development is on track. Assessment is an ongoing process that includes observation and provides information about development over time. It helps inform curriculum planning, teaching, and individualizing for each child for all developmental domains.
Research based and child-centered, the HighScope Curriculum, used in all BHK Birth to 5 classrooms, features active learning at its core. Provided with a wide variety of materials and planned experiences, children are guided to explore, interact, and create through play. Well-trained teachers support and extend each child’s learning based on their developmental levels.
As a Parents as Teachers Curriculum Partner, BHK’s Home Visiting program features family-friendly activities and resources that engage families in children’s learning and development within three key areas of emphasis: parent-child interaction, development-centered parenting, and family well-being.
Promoting the nutritional well-being of children is a vital component of BHK programs. BHK’s Nutrition Services provide nutrition assessment and counseling, nutritious meals, and educate parents to make healthy choices for themselves and their children.
Throughout the year, families are provided with individualized support, identifying and building upon existing strengths, and connecting families with resources to assist them in setting and achieving personal and family goals. When families are healthy, safe, and economically stable, their children's health and well-being can thrive.
Mental Health Consultation
In-house mental health consultants can support children who may struggle with worries, anger, problem solving, sharing, or controlling their feelings or behaviors, making friends, and having difficulty in their environments. Consultants help teachers and families learn how to handle these challenges and support positive behaviors.
BHK structures education and child development services to recognize parents’ roles as children’s lifelong educators, and to encourage parents to engage in their child’s education. A minimum of two home visits, per program year, are conducted to engage families in their child’s learning and development. Parent-Teacher Conferences are designed to enhance the knowledge and understanding of both staff and parents of the child’s education and developmental progress along with activities in the program.
Inclusive early learning environments are places in which children, with and without disabilities, and their families experience a sense of belonging, positive social relationships, and development to reach their full potential. Teachers provide all children and families with access to a wide range of learning opportunities, activities, settings, and environments.
BHK works with parents to identify and access, either directly through BHK or through referrals to other organizations, services, and resources that are responsive to each family’s interests, strengths, needs and goals.
Parent Leadership and Advocacy
Parents are actively involved by volunteering, attending relevant trainings, and participating in the program planning, budgeting, and decision making.