For this assignment, I conducted much research on the Head Start Program. I visited the West End Gardens Head Start facility. There, I conducted an interview of three employees, where I sought to gain a better understanding of the overall nature of the Head Start program. This Head Start facility is located at 534 West 4th street in Plainfield, New Jersey. The neighborhood is very urban, where as, there were many people out and about walking on the streets. Its atmosphere is metropolitan and built up with many stores, offices, and municipal buildings. I found it surprising that children's school would be on such a busy street. All of the traffic made me a little weary about how safe the environment was. I chose this particular location because of its close proximity to my home. The classroom that I had the opportunity of seeing had a kitchen and a diaper changing/potty room. There were many different play stations such as a dress up area, a puppet area, a reading area, and a sandbox area. Each play station was small and designated by shelving. The setup promotes corporative play and increases verbal interactions. The setup seems to work well and is organized. I have found through researching the Head Start programs, many are alike throughout the country. Schedules are set up similarly, starting around seven-thirty in the morning and ending no later then eight o'clock at night. This is a great advantage for parents to drop their children off at a school that provides a safe environment and good education. Introduction & Description of Clients and Their Needs
Head Start is a child development program, which provides aid and assistance to financially less fortunate families. It serves children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. Head Start is child centered and focuses much attention on preparing young children from low-income families for school. Head Start helps parents improve their basic literacy, numeric skills and employability skills. It promotes children's developmental growth through early childhood education. The Head Start program holds classes, which instruct parents on how to promote their child's cognitive, social, language, and physical development. Today, in order to qualify for head start, the annual family income for a family of four must be below$13, 400. This program is of great importance, and coincides to what we are learning about in class. It attempts to break the cycles of poverty and lack of education of those living in paucity. It prepares the poorest children in our nation for kindergarten and beyond. Across the country, thousands of families reap the benefits of Head Start. History
The concept of Head Start came about in 1964, when the federal government asked a group of child development specialists to come up with a program to meet the needs of underprivileged children. Their plans became the blueprint for Head Start. In the summer of 1965, The Office of Economic Opportunity began a program to provide children of low-income families support to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. From its infancy, the program has been well accepted and successful. Head Start serves low-income children and families across the country, in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Territories. Today, Head Start is run by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. Since its beginnings as a program, Head Start has enrolled more than 20,500,000 children! The Head Start Program is an evolving concept and has come a long way. Throughout the years, it has become a well-established organization that has proved to have a strong impact on those qualifying individuals across the country. Program Goals
The material and life lessons children learn in the classroom are of great importance. While each child is different and comes from unique backgrounds there are some...