The Head Start Program was developed in 1965 by parents who believed that no one had a greater interest in the education of a child than their family. This is the foundation of the Head Start Philosophy. Parents are involved at all levels of the program, and are an integral part of decision making in many ways. Parents of current Head Start children participate in the hiring of staff, approval of spending, and changes in curriculum, just to name a few. In addition, federal funds received by Head Start programs are contingent on demonstrated family involvement.
Staff work closely with parents to develop and implement a curriculum which provides each child with opportunities for success, builds self-esteem, and creates positive attitudes toward learning. They offer a variety of developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities to foster a positive self-concept. Teachers know each child well and design activities based on their knowledge of individual children's differing abilities, developmental levels, and approaches to learning.
When daily programming is planned, attention is given to the following guidelines:
Families considering the Head Start program are welcome to make an appointment to observe classroom activities to aid them in the decision-making process. Parents of children enrolled in the program are welcome to visit the classroom at any time during the school day.
Early Head Start was launched in 1995 to provide comprehensive child and family developmnet services for low-income pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers ages birth to three years. Early Head Start (EHS) programs were established to provide early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services on a year-round basis. The purpose of the program is to enhance children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development; to support parents' efforts to fulfill their parental roles; and to help parents move toward self-sufficiency.
Early Head Start principles include:
Our Family Library available to all families that work with the programs of FEN. Families can come to spend time in the library and /or borrow books from the library.
A quality fee-for-service child care program that provides an atmosphere that encourages social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and language growth and development of the whole child ages 3 to 5 years. We welcome those who qualify for child care subsidy through DSS.
Early Head Start offers a center base, full day early childhood program for families with children six weeks to three years of age. Services include programming in health, nutrition, early education, special services, family and community partnership. Transportation and meals are provided; income eligibility and age guidelines apply.
Classes instructed in speaking, reading, and writing the English language, offered twice a week on Mondays and Thursday evenings from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Classes work toward mastering the English language and developing skills for those interested in pursuing ell and citizenship.
Trainings available in family literacy based on the 2007 Head Start Act which includes: Interactive activities between parents and children, parents as first teacher, education for self-sufficiency that leads to economic and financial literacy, and age-appropriate education.
Instruction based classes, offered at a variety of times, on the five subjects needed to pass the GED exam. Classes are available at different ability levels and are designed around individual student’s needs.
Head Start offers comprehensive best practice center base half-day and full day programming with services which include health, nutrition, early education, special services and family and community partnership. Head Start offers UPK programming in collaboration with the Binghamton and Johnson City School Districts. Transportation and meals are provided; income eligibility and age guidelines apply.
Family Enrichment Network offers Johnson City School District four-year-old children with a five day a week 1/2 day center based preschool experience. Meals and snacks are included and transportation is provided to families living in the transportation block area.
The Summer Food Services Program is free to all children 18 years of age and younger. The program operates Monday-Friday from late June through the first week in September. All children are eligible to receive a free and nutritious morning snack and lunch as Family Enrichment Network operates an open site.
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