What is Head Start?
Head Start is a preschool for children 3-4 years old from families who meet income guidelines. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of activities. They also receive free health screenings, have healthy meals and snacks and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting.
Head Start helps all children succeed. Services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. Head Start provides children with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally and physically. Head Start staff recognize that as parents, you are the first and most important teachers of your children. They will welcome your involvement in Head Start activities and will work as partners with you to help your child progress.
More Information: What can Head Start do for your child?
Head Start staff members offer your child love, acceptance, understanding, and the opportunity to learn and to experience success. Head Start children socialize with others, solve problems and have other experiences which help them become self confident. Children improve their listening and speaking skills. The children spend time in stimulating settings where they form good habits and enjoy playing with toys and working on tasks with classmates. Your child will leave our program more prepared for kindergarten, excited about learning, and ready to succeed.
What can Head Start offer your family?
Head Start offers you a sense of belonging, other support services, and a chance
to be involved in activities that are fun for the whole family. You will have training opportunities in many areas that are geared to your interests. Head Start also offers assistance
to parents interested in obtaining a high school general equivalency diploma (GED) or other adult educational opportunities.
You can also have a voice in the Head Start program by being part of the center's parent group or also by serving on the Head Start policy council. Parents experiences in Head Start have raised their own self confidence and improved their ability to make decisions.
Head Start recognizes the family as the cornerstone of a child's life. For this reason, staff is available to assist the entire family. Head Start family workers are available to answer questions, help with family problems and link families to agencies that will help meet their needs.
Other services offered by Head Start
- Adopt a child: Through community donations, we are able to provide winter coats, boots, snow pants and hat/mittens for children in our program who need it.
- Wrap around child care services: We offer free child care before and after Head Start program hours to children who qualify (parents working 28+ hours/week or attending school) and who are enrolled in Head Start in Mason City or Buffalo Center. Ask for more information if you are interested.
- GED/Adult Basic Education: We offer funding to support parents obtaining their GED and/or ABE. Funding provides for mileage, books, testing fees and child care. Ask a staff member for more information.
We are currently taking applications for the 2011-2012 school year. Starting in February 2012, we will be taking applications for the 2012-2013 school year. Families must complete an application packet along with proof of income for 12 months and the cihld's immunization card.
Application Packet for Head Start/ Preschool
You will be notified right away if you are not eligible for our program so you have an opportunity to sign up with another preschool.
Starting in May, we will begin notifying families of classroom assignments and sending out additional health forms (physical exam, dental exam, nutrition assessment survey) that will need to be completed.
For additional information about classroom locations in our service area, please click on your county below: