When your child enters Early Head Start or Head Start, he/she will receive a variety of health screenings as part of the Comprehensive Health Plan designed by Head Start. Your consent and cooperation are important. These screenings are free and provided by Head Start. Parents will be informed of the results. These screenings give a snapshot of your child’s health which allows us to assist you in preparing your child for the next step, Kindergarten!
However, a medical and dental screening MUST be performed by your child’s physician and dentist. These are required tests, and MUST be completed within the time frame recommended by the Head Start Performance Standards.
Required immunizations include:
If your child is exempt from immunizations, he or she may be removed from school during an outbreak.
Center Tests Performed: (EHS Home Visits at appropriate ages)
Speech and Language
Height and Weight
Tests to be Performed by the Child’s Physician and Dentist:
A dental exam is required by 1 year of age or with the appearance of the first tooth.
Vision screening is performed at the Head Start Center by community volunteers and/or Head Start Health Staff. If the child fails the first screening, a second one is performed. If the child fails the second, he/she is referred to an eye doctor.
Hearing, Speech, Developmental and Behavioral
Staff from Lifesteps, Head Start, ARIN or IUP will complete these screenings at the Head Start centers. If a child fails the first hearing screening, a second one is preformed several weeks later. If the child fails the second hearing screening, he/she is referred to an audiologist for hearing concerns.
Developmental screenings include the areas of physical, language and cognitive development. Refer to the Disabilities section for information on developmental and speech screening follow up.
The purpose of the behavioral screening is early identification of any challenging behaviors or concerns which may interfere with a child’s social emotional development. We gather information from parents and teachers regarding behavior and social interactions. A mental health professional is available to discuss any concerns and support parents and teachers.
Each child is provided with a toothbrush at the center. The children are taught good oral hygiene and are encouraged to brush their teeth properly and regularly. Staff, volunteers, and parents model tooth brushing daily with the children. We provide toothbrushes and adult toothpaste for your visit.
If you do not have access to medical care, inform your Family Service Worker and/or the Health Services Manager so that you can get information regarding health insurance and how to access it.
Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT)
Free comprehensive health services are available for all children on medical assistance under 21. Call 1-800-543-7633 for more information.
Nutrition Needs Assessment
Once a month, your child will bring home a menu for the entire month. The menus are planned to make sure each child receives a balanced diet and follows the CACFP/USDA guidelines. Recipes from parents are welcomed. They will be incorporated in the menu when appropriate. Children who eat well balanced meals high in nutrition and low in sugar, salt and fat come to school ready to learn.
Meals at Head Start are served family style. You will receive a nutrition/growth assessment twice a year. Once in the fall and once in the spring a growth assessment will be sent home explaining your child’s strengths and areas of concern. This information is compiled using your child’s height, weight, body mass index and nutrition survey.