Head Start
Head Start/Early Head Start
Administrative Office
529 Black Bears Way
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Telephone (205) 752-5429
Facsimile (205) 752-8653

Head Start Application

Keep your kids healthy. cdc.gov/parents
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Community Action Partnership
Head Start is a comprehensive child development program that serves the needs of over 900 children and their families in Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar and Tuscaloosa counties.
The Early Head Start Program provides comprehensive, quality services to expectant mothers, infants and toddlers. (This program is currently only available in Tuscaloosa County.) These services are offered at the center to approximately 40 infants and toddlers. For the pregnant women enrolled in Tuscaloosa, the services are home-based.
Head Start services are customized to the individual child's developmental level including children with disabilities.

Children have the opportunity to express themselves through art, music, movement and storytelling. They learn about books, words, numbers and the world around them. Children develop self-confidence and socialization skills. Head Start also works with children and parents to make a successful transition to kindergarten.

Children participate in field trips like the Children's Hands On Museum, Moundville State Park, the McWane Science Center and other educational sites. These excursions provide children with new challenges and learning opportunities. Children can practice the skills they have learned in the classroom, i.e., reading, listening and good manners, as well as, responsibility for themselves and their classmates. Head Start uses the Krackeroo Kids program, a character building curriculum that teaches kindness, respect, honesty and other values. Krackeroo Kids helps children develop and understand the meaning of good character.
Head Start focuses on each child's basic needs including the healthy behaviors and practices that can prevent illness and enhance a child's lifelong well-being. Head Start believes optimum nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits contribute to a healthy start for children and help prepare them for learning. The goal of nutrition education is to increase awareness of the importance of wellness and promote the development of healthy eating habits in early childhood. This will aid in preventing future medical problems associated with poor nutrition. Each day, children eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack that make significant contributions to their dietary needs. Foods served are limited in fat, sugar and salt, incorporating the recently revised USDA Food Pyramid into meal preparation.

In the classroom, the teaching staff provides opportunities for children to learn about food and nutrition. The children participate in food preparation and cooking experiences that incorporate mathematical concepts, scientific principles, social studies and pre-reading/language exposure activities.

Parents receive nutrition education and training as it relates to planning nutritious meals, budgeting and child nutrition. Parents of children with high-risk conditions are linked with health care professionals and may be counseled by the Nutrition Coordinator and Family Health Case Manager regarding the specific needs of their child.

Each child receives medical and dental care. This includes a complete health examination with a screening for chronic or disabling conditions, a vision and hearing test, a dental checkup and immunizations. Follow-up visits are scheduled for children with any findings during a check-up. The Head Start staff is trained in CPR and other first-aid techniques. In addition, all programs are required to have procedures in place to prevent injuries and to respond to emergencies.
A team of Head Start staff works with the family, from the beginning process of setting goals to making policy and program decisions. Head Start also actively collaborates with community agencies and organizations to establish a network of support that families can utilize during and after Head Start.

Parents and family members work in partnership with Head Start staff to set goals for their children and family development. An individualized plan is designed to assist them in achieving family goals. Parents are encouraged to share ideas and opinions, to visit the programs and to participate in Parent Committee and other group activities. Parents also attend classes and workshops to learn about parenting, nutrition, safety practices, job preparation, skill development and other topics.

The Head Start program takes an active role in its communities and collaborates with other organizations to enable Head Start children and families to receive services that are beyond the scope of Head Start. Head Start community partners include physical and mental health providers, agencies that provide services to children with disabilities, child protective services, child care organizations, local schools, businesses and other s ervice groups.

In-kind contributions from parents, volunteers and local providers are an important component of Head Start. This donation of time provides the opportunity for volunteering through reading to children and donating books, school supplies and other services.
Parental involvement in children's lives is not an exclusively female domain. The notion that fathers of children from low-income and high-risk backgrounds always absent themselves from child rearing is erroneous. Head Start's Fatherhood Initiative promotes concepts and activities that nurture the children's relationships with their fathers.

The Fatherhood Initiative supports and strengthens the roles of fathers in families. This initiative is guided by the following principles:

  • All fathers can be important contributors to the well-being of their children.
  • Parents are partners in raising their children, even when they do not live in the same household.
  • The roles fathers play in families are diverse and crucial to the positive development of children.
Early Head Start: children from birth to age three and pregnant women, regardless of race, sex, creed, color or national origin, whose family meets the program income guidelines.

Head Start: children from age three to school age regardless of race, sex, creed, color or national origin, whose family meets the program income guidelines.

The following chart lists the maximum annual income allowed to be eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2015 Poverty Guidelines
1 Person 2 People 3 People 4 People 5 People 6 People 7 People 8 People
$11,770 $15,930 $20,090 $24,250 $28,410 $32,570 $36,730 $40,890
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,160.00 for each additional person.

There are no costs to families whose children meet the eligibility guidelines for Head Start and/or Early Head Start.
Contact Us
Administrative Office
601 Black Bears Way
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
(205) 752-5429 telephone
(855) 211-0950 toll free
(205) 758-7229 facsimile
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