Chesterfield’s Head Start program promotes school readiness for young children from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. School readiness means children are prepared for school, families are supporting their children’s learning and schools are ready as children transition into kindergarten.
Head Start provides a comprehensive, individualized, developmentally appropriate preschool education program using the Creative Curriculum, the Ready Rosie curriculum, and Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies curriculum. The Creative Curriculum builds children’s confidence, creativity and critical thinking skills through hands-on, project-based investigations. The PATHS curriculum is an evidence based social-emotional learning program. Ready Rosie is an early education tool that deepens parent engagement efforts by using video modeling and mobile technology. Ready Rosie has hundreds of brief videos in English and Spanish that model everyday interactions in familiar environments with real parents.
Head Start programs require 10% of enrollment spots to be reserved for children with disabilities. This requirement helps ensure that programs recruit children who are identified as eligible for IDEA services prior to entering Head Start. Additionally, this helps ensure proper screenings and evaluation referrals for children who may benefit from early intervention, special education or related services. Individualized support helps ensure effective teaching for children who have disabilities or special needs.
Head Start partners with community organizations that support positive child and family outcomes. These organizations can respond to families’ interests and needs and can connect families to outside resources, encourage engagement in children’s learning and use community strengths and needs assessment data to guide collaboration.