1. Who is Head Start for?
Head Start is for the entire family! An array of services are available which promote school readiness for children and provide support for parents. Our expectant parent and virtual home visiting programs are available when it works best for you! Learn more about our Home Visiting Program or Pregnancy Services.
2. Does Champlain Valley Head Start provide transportation?
Champlain Valley Head Start does not provide transportation. Some Head Start sites are located at schools, and some schools may make bus transportation available, though this service is unaffiliated with Head Start. Head Start staff are available to talk with families about transportation needs and will refer families to resources available in local communities, such as public transportation providers and information. In some limited instances, CVHS may be able to provide families with transportation assistance to assure that Head Start / Early Head Start children attend medical and dental appointments.
3. How is Head Start different than other childcare programs and why should I choose Head Start?
Head Start and Early Head Start are federally-funded, national child and family development programs which provide comprehensive services for pregnant women, children from birth to age five, and their families. Head Start and Early Head Start services go beyond simple childcare or “daycare,” and provide a holistic approach to serving the child and family. Services for children promote school readiness, and include early education, health, nutrition, mental health, and services for children with special needs. Head Start partners with parents around the education of their children, and incorporates research-based curriculum, ongoing child outcomes assessment, and periodic family reports regarding children’s progress. Services for parents promote family engagement, and include parent leadership and social service supports.
4. Why does Head Start have health requirements?
The good health and well-being of every child is important, and form the foundation for children’s overall success. In order for Head Start and Early Head Start programs to be effective in terms of children’s early education and school readiness, child health and well-being must come first. The program is committed to working with families to keep children up-to-date with their physical and dental exams, and immunizations. Head Start also supports families in accessing any medical or dental treatment their child may need. For a full list of Head Start health requirements, please see our Program Requirements.
5. Is there a Head Start program in my town?
Please Click here for a current list of Champlain Valley Head Start locations and schedules.
6. What is a Head Start home visit?
Children and families enrolled in the Early Head Start Home Based program receive one, 90-minute home visit per week with a Home Visitor and take part in playgroup activities twice per month. The Early Head Start home based program runs year round. Home visits provide individualized services in all Head Start areas: early education, health, family services and services to children with special needs. The home based program is focused on using the home as a learning environment to support optimal health and child development. Children and families enrolled in the Head Start or Early Head Start classrooms which run four or five days per week will receive monthly social service contacts with a Head Start Teacher or Early Care Advocate and home visits twice per year.
7. How does Champlain Valley Head Start serve families who don’t speak English?
Champlain Valley Head Start serves a very diverse group of families including families who speak languages other than English. If an enrolled family indicates that they would like an interpreter, CVHS will provide an interpreter either in person or over the phone. The CVHS brochure, and various program materials and information, have been translated into eight of the most common languages of English Language Learners in northwest Vermont.
8. Can Champlain Valley Head Start establish a program at my school or childcare center?
Due to limited funding and other factors, Champlain Valley Head Start cannot establish a Head Start or Early Head Start program at every school and childcare center. However, if you are interested in having Champlain Valley Head Start establish a Head Start or Early Head Start program at your school or childcare center, you can have a conversation with your center director or school principal. He or she can then contact Champlain Valley Head Start to find out more about getting this started. A representative from CVHS can meet with the center director or school principal to discuss whether or not Champlain Valley Head Start could plan to establish a Head Start or Early Head Start program at that location.
9. Does Head Start make special accommodations for children with special needs?
Yes. For all children, Head Start provides individualized programming and services responsive to each child’s development and unique needs, and Head Start works in cooperation with community professionals, school districts, and special education providers to provide services and support to children with special needs. Head Start supports parents in the special education process around development and implementation of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for infants and toddlers, or the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for children ages three to five. CVHS has strong collaborative partnerships with Vermont’s Children’s Integrated Services Early Intervention programs (serving children birth to age 3) and Essential Early Education (serving children ages 3 to 5). Working with these partners, CVHS strives to help children make progress toward their IFSP or IEP goals.
10. Are meals served as part of Head Start?
Yes. Head Start believes in using mealtimes as a key component of children’s educational experience. Children are served healthy meals and snacks that provide a variety of color, nutrients, flavors, and textures. CVHS serves meals family-style, which provides an opportunity for children and teachers to gather at the table to eat the same foods, serve themselves, and socialize as a group.
11. What can I do to get involved with Head Start?
Champlain Valley Head Start has a variety of volunteer opportunities. Click here to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of children and families in your community.
12. How is Head Start funded?
Head Start is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.