Head Start was founded as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in 1965. Since then, Head Start has grown from an eight-week demonstration project to include full day/year services and numerous program options. Head Start has served over 30 million children and their families in urban and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories.
Head Start takes a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of young children. The four major components of Head Start are:
- Education - Provides a variety of learning experiences to help children grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally.
- Social Services - Provides outreach to families to determine what services they need. Linkages also grant access to those services.
- Health - Provides medical, dental, mental health, and nutrition services to Head Start students.
- Parent Engagement - Involves parents in the planning and implementation of activities. Parents may serve on the Board of Directors, Policy Council and Parent Committees that make governance and center-based decisions. They also participate in classes and workshops on child development and volunteer to produce the in-kind required in the Head Start program.
CSP Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start supports the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.
CSP Head Start is a comprehensive child development program that serves the needs of over 700 children and their families in Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar and Tuscaloosa counties.
Early Head Start
The reauthorization of the Head Start Act in 1994 made it possible to establish Early Head Start as a program that provides early childhood development services, linkages, and family initiatives to low-income and vulnerable children, birth to three, and pregnant women. These services lead to a foundation for developmental learning and improve family functioning.
As infants and toddlers grow and change, and as family needs evolve, diverse program options can support them over time. This ensures that families can grow within a consistent, supportive setting, buttressed by strong relationships and developmentally-appropriate care and services.
CSP Early Head Start program serve families through a full day, full year program option that best meets the needs of their families. Program options provide options, determined through the data collected from their community needs assessment and conversations with families, provide them with the ability to comprehensively and flexibly meet the needs of families.
The CSP Early Head Start Program provides comprehensive, quality services to expectant mothers, infants and toddlers. (This program is currently available in Tuscaloosa, Lamar, Hale, Greene, and Fayette County).
CSP Head Start/Early Head Start accepts children from birth to school age regardless of race, sex, creed, color or national origin, whose family meets the program income guidelines.
Head Start/Early Head Start services are provided at no costs to families.