Head Start / Early Head Start

What is Head Start / Early Head Start?

Head Start is a federally-funded comprehensive, quality preschool program that provides learning experiences focusing on the domains of learning.  Head Start assists in the development of social competence so preschoolers will be ready for and successful in school.

Family Forum, Inc. provides Head Start services and works in partnership with families to provide a strong support network for low-income families of preschool children.  Head Start provides preschool children and their families with activities that help them grow cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically.  Head Start helps all children and their families succeed.

Services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities.  The Head Start staff recognize that, as parents, you are the first and most important teachers of your children.  We welcome your involvement in Head Start activities and will work as partners with you to help your child and family progress.  If you or a family member has a special concern, you can receive help though Head Start.  Head Start staff work with and support families in need of medical, nutritional, social, educational, and employment services through identifying and utilizing community resources.  We will also follow up to ensure you receive the assistance needed.

Parent's Role in Head Start / Early Head Start

The success of Head Start / Early Head Start depends on your continued involvement.  The benefits of Head Start / Early Head Start are rooted in change.  These changes must take place in the family, the community, and the attitudes of people and institutes that have an impact on them.  We cannot do it alone.  Your understanding, support, and input are essential to our program.  Your volunteer services are a valuable fiscal contribution to us and a great learning opportunity for you.  Research indicates that the more you are involved in your child's learning, the more gains your child will make in social competence and school readiness.

Head Start / Early Head Start has a number of areas in which you may choose to become involved.  They are:
  • Classroom or center involvement, including volunteering the the classroom
  • Acting as a resource person in the classroom
  • Volunteering on field trips
  • Bus Monitoring
  • Office Assistant
  • Monthly Parent committee Meetings, which will include you (as a parent) providing input into the center or other Head Start activities
  • Policy involvement, which includes being a member of Head Start Policy Council.  This is an elected position.  Parents from each center meet monthly to provide guidance, input, discussion, and approve or disapprove policies  or procedures affecting our Head Start program.  Ashland, WI is the central meeting place.
  • Home activities that are in coordination with your child's Head Start classroom or center curriculum.

Head Start / Early Head Start

Center-based Learning is for children between the ages of 3 and 5.  These children participate in learning activities at the Head Start center during either a morning or afternoon session.  Nutritional meals and snacks are provided each day.  Meals are served family-style to teach children table manners.  Children also learn to set tables and clean-up afterwards.  To encourage personal hygiene, children wash their hands before each meal and brush their teeth after each meal.  You also have the option of having your child picked up and dropped off by the Family Forum, Inc. school bus at no charge when your child is enrolled in the center-based program.

Home-based Learning available to children (and their families) prenatal through age 5.  A highly trained home-based teacher comes to your home for one and one half hours each week offering family support.  Along with the home-based teacher's support, you receive "The Portage Guide Birth to Six" curriculum to assist you in planning activities that promote the development of your child.  Child / parent socializations are held twice a month for group learning opportunities.

Community Preschool Program (4K) offered for eligible children who are 4 years old by September 1st.  DPI licensed teachers use WI Model Early Learning Standards 5 days a week.  Parent involvement and training opportunities are offered.  This program prepares your child for a lifetime of learning.

A parent or legal guardian may choose to dually enroll the child in the 4K program and Head Start in some locations.  To do this, the parent needs to complete a child application, sign a permission slip to be dually enrolled, and provide proof of immunizations and show the child's birth certificate.

children (and their families)