Early Head Start
Early Head Start is a two-generation program designed to provide high-quality child and family development services to low-income pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers (up to the age of three). The family-centered services facilitate child development, support parental roles, and promote self-sufficiency. Early Head Start programs first began in 1995 in the United States; the first Early Head Start program in our agency began in 1999.
Early Head Start at DCPC is primarily a home-based program with additional combination center-based services for families who need that model. Each full-time Family Advocate works with a caseload of about eleven families. Read more about our Infant/Toddler Caregivers.
DCPC Infant/Toddler Curriculum includes: a written plan with goals for children's development and learning; the experiences through which they will achieve these goals; what parents do to help children achieve these goals; and the materials needed to support the implementation of the curriculum. The curriculum is consistent with the Head Start Program Performance Standards and is based on sound child development principles about how children grow and learn. DCPC uses the following two curricular:
- Partners for a Healthy Baby - Prenatal & Infant Curriculum
- Ounce Curriculum - Child Development Curriculum
DCPC holds four to five socializations per month. These socializations provide comprehensive services to children and their families through planned activities suggested by parents. There are both English and Spanish socializations. Family Advocates (with parental input) plan the socializations. Family Advocates encourage their families who may be experiencing isolation, or would like educational and social experiences, to attend socializations regularly.
TRANSITIONING FAMILIES OUT OF THE PROGRAM
To ensure the most appropriate placement and service following participation in Early Head Start, transition planning is undertaken for each child and family at least six months prior to the child's third birthday. As appropriate, a child may remain in Early Head Start following his or her third birthday for additional months until he or she can transition into Head Start.