WACOG Head Start has a long tradition of delivering comprehensive quality services designed to foster the healthy development of children ages 3-5 years old.
WACOG Head Start has 23 Head Start centers within a tri-county service area. The program offers a combination of Part-Day and Full Day classes. Head Start classes focus on school readiness for all children and families. As a leader in quality early childhood programs in the area we maintain high quality and remain on the “cutting edge” of developmentally appropriate practices.
The challenge of providing comprehensive child and family services in non-served or under-served rural communities is daunting. The program has been the forerunner in establishing the first child and family development programs in many of the tri-county communities.
The primary focus of WACOG Head Start is to partner with families in building the foundation for the development of self-sufficient, healthy, caring and productive children and families. The success of this work can be measured through family achievements and growth towards goals in child and adult education, health, employment, and family engagement and well being.
WACOG Head Start believes each child must be treated as an individual in an inclusive community that values, respects and responds to diversity. We recognize children have individual rates of development as well as different interests, temperaments, languages, cultural backgrounds and learning styles. The variety of classroom experiences provided by the program support the continuum of children’s growth and development, including the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of each child.
Children’s health is a key component of WACOG Head Start. Partnering with families to provide each child with a solid foundation of good health and dental care ensures children are well and able to actively participate in learning activities. The program provides nutritious meals and snacks for all participating children, meeting at least 2/3 of their daily nutritional needs.
Early intervention programs have been shown to produce benefits in educational progress and school success. Program staff partners with families to conduct a variety of screenings within 45 calendar days of children’s entry into the program. The purpose of screening is to identify any concerns regarding a child’s development, and facilitate special services to support that child. Child development research has established that the rate of human learning and development is most rapid in the preschool years. Timing of intervention becomes particularly important when a child runs the risk of missing an opportunity to learn during a state of maximum readiness.
WACOG Head Start works in close partnership with parents to foster their role as the primary educators and advocates for their children. Parents are encouraged to become involved in all aspects of the program, from participation in children’s activities to direct involvement in policy and program decisions.