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Head Start

What Is Head Start?

Head Start is a national, child development program, created in 1965, for economically disadvantaged children three to five years old and their families. Head Start promotes school readiness and focuses on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. Head Start enhances the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to eligible children and families. Head Start engages parents in their children's learning and helps them in making progress toward their educational, literacy and employment goals. Significant emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents. Head Start currently serves 221 families throughout Reno County.

Initially, Head Start served preschool children three to five years old. Later, Early Head Start (EHS) was created in 1994 to target the needs of pregnant women, infants and toddlers, in response to research that demonstrates the incredible importance of children's earliest years on brain development and the readiness to learn. With the addition of Early Head Start, Head Start offers comprehensive programming for prenatal women, children birth to five years old and their families.

What is Early Head Start?

Early Head Start is a unique opportunity to provide comprehensive services to expectant parents and families with infants and toddlers. Early Head Start focuses on the relationship between parent and child.

The Early Head Start Program provides services to 96 families including pregnant women, and families with children ages birth to three years old. The program partners with existing early childhood programs including the Reno County Health Department, The Early Education Center, The Department of Children and Families (DCF), and St. Francis to provide services.

Funding

Head Start is funded by the United States Congress and administered through the Department of Health and Human Services. In Reno County, the Hutchinson Board of Education, USD 308, receives the Federal grant to operate the program.

Mission

The mission of Reno County Head Start is to provide services to pregnant women and children birth to age five, while promoting a community culture that respects the diversity of families.

Program Services

  • High quality preschool for children throughout Reno County, at all developmental levels, including children with severe disabilities.
  • Nutritional meals and snacks
  • Health and dental services and support for participating children
  • Mental Health consultations for families
  • Referrals to community resources and support to meet identified needs of families
  • Opportunities to be involved in all areas of the program
  • Bus transportation for USD 309 and 313
  • Bus transportation only for children with disabilities in USD 308

Prenatal, Infant and Toddler Services

  • Prenatal support for pregnant women
  • Weekly home visits provide parent education in child development for infants and toddlers
  • Play group socializations twice a month
  • Health, dental and nutrition services and support for participating children
  • Mental Health consultations for the family
  • Referrals to community resources and support to meet identified needs of families
  • Opportunities to be involved in all areas of the program

All services are provided at no cost to participating families!

Vision

The vision of Reno County Head Start is to create and sustain an environment where low-income pregnant women and families with children ages birth to five thrive by:

  • Recruiting and selecting highly qualified, well prepared and motivated staff and volunteers;
  • Developing and maintaining productive partnerships within the community;
  • Providing access to comprehensive health care;
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle choices;
  • Ensuring the development of infants, toddlers and young children, including children with disabilities;
  • Developing the capacity of families to nurture their children;
  • Preparing children to succeed in school and in life.