Why Choose Head Start?

Head Start is a preschool program that is designed to give children a "Head Start" on their education so that when they enter the school system they are ready to learn. Our preschool program recognizes that children are only little once and their childhood should be celebrated.

Head Start offers the following:

  • High qualified teachers and aides

  • Curriculum that helps children grow academically

  • Provides essential school readiness skills

  • Small class sizes

  • Children do not have to be potty trained

  • Free to income eligible families

  • Quality learning materials

  • Half day and full day options to meet individual children and family needs

  • Provides breakfast, lunch and snack free

  • Assist families with meeting dental and physical requirements

  • Behavioral Consultant on staff

  • Nutritionist available for consultation

  • Family Service Worker to help meet individual needs of each family

  • Fun evening activities for the entire family

  • Parent/Teacher Conferences

  • Parents can volunteer in their child's classroom at anytime

  • Active voice in the program

  • Provides a smooth transition into kindergarten

  • Busing available

  • Seat belts and harness on the bus

  • Focusing on the entire family by encouraging parental involvement in your child's education and understands that you are your child's most important teacher.


We encourage parents to be involved in the program

There are several ways families can get involved in promoting the child's school readiness at home, in the Head Start program and in the community. ICHS encourages families to become actively engaged in their child's education, by providing opportunities for the family to participate in parent and child activities in the classroom, at the center and in the community.

All these activities are planned to include an educational opportunity that is interactive and fun for both adults and children. These activities are available for all Head Start families and are scheduled for day, evening and weekends to allow for the maximum participation.

Indiana County Head Start encourages all families to become involved in the program. Our basic philosophy is "Parents are the primary educators of their children."

Families can get involved by:

  • Attending Head Start family activities and functions

  • Riding the bus, volunteering in the classroom, and assisting in the kitchen

  • Attending parent activities/trainings, and parent/teacher planning times

  • Serving in the parent group, on a special committee or on the Policy Council

  • Providing trainings for other parents or the children

Parents and Families involved in Head Start:

  • Are more knowledgeable about their child's learning and development

  • Are more likely to continue involvement when their child enters the public school system

  • Have increased involvement with their children

  • Have increased self-confidence

  • Are more aware of community resources

  • Feel they have more control over their lives

Head Start defines school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life. It means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children's learning, and schools are ready for children.

School readiness goals articulate the program's expectations of children's status and progress across the five essential domains of child development and early learning that will improve children's readiness for kindergarten. These domains include (1) Social & Emotional Development, (2) Perceptual, Motor & Physical Development, (3) Cognition & General Knowledge, (4) Language & Literacy, (5) Approaches to Learning.

School readiness goals are developed by aggregating and analyzing child assessment data.

School Readiness Goals for Early Head Start and Head Start

Social & Emotional Development

Infants and young toddlers will seek comfort from familiar adults to learn to manage emotions.

Toddlers will begin to show confidence in their abilities and seek out caregiver’s response.

Children will engage in and maintains positive relations and interactions with adults

Children will engage in prosocial and cooperative behavior with adults.

Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development

Infants will explore new body positions such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, hitting or kicking objects to achieve goal

Young toddlers will demonstrate eye-hand coordination when stacking objects or pincher grasp activities.

Toddlers will demonstrate fine motor muscle control by using tools such as spoons, paint, brushes or markers.

Toddlers will begin to develop independence in self-care, such as washing hands, drinking from a cup or brushing teeth with assistance.

Children will demonstrate control, strength, and coordination of large muscles.

Children will demonstrate personal hygiene and self-care skills.

Cognition & General Knowledge

Infants and toddlers will explore the concept of cause and effect.

Toddlers will begin to explore problem solving activities.

Children will know number names and the count sequence.

Children will understand simple patterns.

Language & Literacy

Infants will attend to, understand and respond to communication.(Facial expressions, gestures and words).

Toddlers will begin to understand words and speak in simple sentences.

Children will understand and respond to increasingly complex communication and language from others.

Children will understand and use a wide variety of words for a variety of purposes.

Approaches to Learning

Infants and young toddlers will seek comfort from familiar adults to learn to manage emotions.

Toddlers will explore new learning skills and persist in their efforts with adult guidance.

Children will persist in tasks.

Children will use imagination in play and interactions with others.

Program Goals to Support School Readiness

  1. Ensure the fiscal & management systems are current and effective.

  2. Make data collection and evaluations, using existing technology, a priority across all service areas.

  3. ​Ensure that the health and nutrition needs of all children are identified and met for optimum learning and school readiness.

  4. Ensure Parent, Family and Community Engagement through activities that are grounded in positive, ongoing, and goal-oriented relationships with families.

  5. Strengthen collaboration with school districts and other community agencies to define school readiness and develop common goals to ensure successful transitions.

  6. Increase staff competencies through the provision of effective professional development.

  7. ​Continue to infuse the CLASS guidelines and expectations across all service areas.