Early Head Start Overview

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The Early Head Start program seeks to “create an environment where each child can develop a greater sense of self, respect for others and lifelong love of learning.” (Children’s Aid Early Childhood Educational Philosophy memorandum, 2001).

Beliefs

At Early Head Start, we believe…

  • Parents want what is best for their children and are always willing to learn ways of deepening their connection with their child.
  • Every parent and child has individual strengths that are expressed in every-day life.
  • The parent and child relationship thrives when there are opportunities for them to be together, play and pay attention to each other.
  • When parents are provided with an opportunity to pay attention to their children without other distractions in the way, the parent and child bond grows, parents are happier with themselves as parents and children are more alert and expressive.
  • Parents’ love of their children and their intelligence fosters a change in their habits of interaction when they experience their children’s happiness and curiosity.

Services

At Early Head Start…

  • We continually work to develop ongoing, trusting and supportive relationships with the parents and children.
  • We provide a safe, stimulating and interactive environment in the schools for group parent and child interactions.
  • Our home visits constantly reinforce the parent and child bond, healthy parenting practices and children’s physical, cognitive and social development.
  • We extend an overall five-year commitment to the families. The first three years, the families participate in a home-based program, and the next two years, the families participate in a center-based program.
  • We constantly advocate with our parents in areas like health, education and housing.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • P.S. 5 or P.S. 8
  • School Catchment Zones of Washington Heights/Inwood community
  • Income eligibility
  • Special needs or other special circumstances
  • Child age requirement (newborn to three)
  • Referrals and partnerships