History of Head Start


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A brief overview of the history behind the creation of Head Start, a federal program for low-income families

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History of Head Start

  1. 1. History of Head Start<br />ECFS 303<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />Take 5 minutes to complete the individual reflection sheet, Part 1.<br />What was your experience with childcare as a 3-4-5 year old? Was it formal or informal (family, friend, neighbor) care? What do you remember about it?<br />After you are done, briefly share your memories with the members of your group. <br />
  3. 3. Origins of Head Start<br />Began in 1965 as Project Head Start<br />Part of the “Great Society” Initiative of President Lyndon B. Johnson, specifically the “War on Poverty”.<br />Snapshot of the political landscape during this time:<br />Kennedy Assassination in 1963<br />19% unemployment rate <br />Civil Right Movement is gaining steam (Civil Right Act was signed in 1964, Voting Rights Act in 1965)<br />Other Great Society Initiatives: Medicare/Medicaid, Job Corps, Upward Bound, Work-Study, Public Broadcasting, Endangered Species Preservation Act<br />
  4. 4. War on Poverty<br />Head Start began in 1965 in the Office of Economic Opportunity, a new department headed by Sargent Shriver.<br />Shriver was tasked with breaking down systematic poverty<br />Shriver convened a panel of 14 experts to develop a strategy for meeting the needs of preschoolers living in poverty.<br />The result was a 8-week summer program called Project Head Start<br />
  5. 5. Project Head Start<br />The 8-week summer program was designed to help kids prepare for kindergarten.<br />It was heavily staffed by volunteers<br />Modeled after multiple programs, notably “Freedom Schools” – temporary, short-term schools setup by local communities for African-American youth affected by segregation<br />The next year it was expanded to a 9 month, part-day program<br />It is considered the longest running program to address systematic poverty in the US<br />
  6. 6. Goals of Head Start<br />Address systematic poverty<br />Designed to provide comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.<br />26% of Head Start Staff are current or former Head Start parents (Head Start Fact Sheet).<br />Head Start’s stated purpose:<br />“Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families.”<br />
  7. 7. Brief Overview of Head Start History<br />1969: Moved to the Office of Child Development in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, under Dr. Edward Zigler<br />1972: At least 10% of Head Start enrollment must include children with disabilities<br />1972: Child Development Associate Credentialing program is established <br />1984: Two new branches are formed: “American Indian-Alaska Native Program” and “Migrant and Seasonal Head Start”<br />1994: Major Head Start reauthorization to meet the needs of every eligible 4-year child, Head Start funding grows<br />1995: Early Head Start is formed <br />1998: Full Year, Full Day Head Start Classes begin<br />2007: Another major reauthorization changes the way grants are funneled through states; expands to include families at 130% of poverty level; increases services for homeless children. <br />
  8. 8. Head Start Today<br />Office of Head Start is under the Department of Health and Human Services<br />Current Numbers: <br />904,513 children enrolled nationally (WA has 11,000)<br />60% are children of color<br />11.5% of children served by Head Start have “disabilities”<br />212,000 Paid Staff<br />1.2 Million Volunteers<br />70% of teachers have an early childhood associate’s degree or CDA<br />Current requirements: all Head Start lead teachers must have Associates degrees by 9/30/2011 and Nationally 50% must have Bachelors degrees<br />
  9. 9. Head Start in Seattle Area<br />5 Head Start Grantees in Seattle<br />Denise Louise Education Center: Beacon Hill, ID, Lake Washington<br />First A.M.E: Central, Capitol Hill, and Columbia City<br />Neighborhood House: Yesler, Highpoint, New Holly, Rainier Vista<br />Seattle Public Schools: North parts of Seattle, Central, SouthEast, SouthWest<br />United Indians of all Tribes<br />More in the surrounding areas – the biggest being the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) – Renton, Bellevue, White Center, Shoreline, etc<br />
  10. 10. ECEAP and Step Ahead<br />State and Local funded programs, similar to Head Start<br />The Seattle Step Ahead preschool program, funded by the 2004 Families and Education Levy offers free or low-cost, culturally and linguistically appropriate preschools to eligible four-year-olds.<br />The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), funded through the State of Washington’s Department of Early Learning and the City of Seattle, offers FREE, high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate preschool services for eligible three- and four-year-olds and their families.<br />
  11. 11. The People of Head Start<br />Staff you can expect to meet in Head Start Preschools;<br />Head teachers, assistant teachers, center directors, child advocates, family advocates, volunteer coordinators, education directors, cooks, bus drivers/monitors, enrollment specialists, janitors, family service specialists, special needs coordinators<br />Contracted Staff<br />coaches, health screeners, dental screeners, speech therapists, home visiting coordinators, social workers<br />Volunteers<br />Parent Volunteers, Jumpstart, United Way Readers, classroom grandparents/popo<br />
  12. 12. Discussion<br />Complete Part 2 of the Individual Reflection Sheet<br />Think about your service-learning placement for this year. <br />What are you most excited about?<br />What are you most concerned about?<br />