Head Start/Early Head StartBonnie Carpenter, Program Director
GMN Tri-County, CAC, Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start provides comprehensive services to low income children ages birth to 5 and pregnant women. Services provided without charge to families and their children continue to make a positive impact on the children as they enter public schools and grow to adulthood. Ten percent of the children enrolled can be from over income families. Ten percent of the local program’s funded slots must be reserved for children with disabilities.
Head Start/Early Head Start components provide education, nutrition, health and social services. Transportation for children and family engagement is also part of the Head Start/Early Head Start experience. In this program, there is an effort to strengthen the feelings of self-confidence of the child within the family. Opportunities are provided for parents to become involved in decision making through the Policy Council. Social Service information and referrals are also provided to families.
Center and Full Day/Full Year options are offered in Head Start. The Center options consist of 3 ½ hour sessions, either morning, midday, or afternoon, or 6-hour session Monday through Thursday. Full Day/Full Year services are offered all day Monday through Friday. Each child enrolled in a Center option class will receive breakfast and/or lunch and a snack that meets 1/3 of daily nutritional requirements. Most children are transported by bus to and from the center, although some classes are self-transport. Transportation is not provided for Full Day/Full Year children.
Early Head Start offers the Home-Based option in all three counties and a Full Day/Full Year option in Noble County through a partnership with the Noble Learning Center, which is a local daycare provider. The Home-Based options extend the benefits of Early Head Start to families outside the transportation radius of a center-based program. The concept of home visiting is to build on and strengthen skills of the parents in meeting the needs of their children. The teacher visits the home for 1 ½ hours each week. Home-Based children are transported to a center for socialization (classroom activities) a minimum of two days a month. Children receive a breakfast or lunch and a snack at all socializations.
GMN Head Start operates a total of five licensed centers. There are two in Cambridge, and one each in Caldwell, Woodsfield, and Sardis.