Head Start is a comprehensive child development program serving low-income preschool children ages 3 to 5 and their families. The Head Start Program has a tradition of delivering high quality services with the overall goal of promoting school readiness by enhancing the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children. Significant emphasis is placed on engaging parents in their children’s learning and assisting parents in making progress towards their own educational, literacy, and employment goals. All facets of a child’s life are impacted through the Head Start program including education, early childhood development, health, safety, nutrition, mental health, family involvement, and community partnerships.
GECAC Head Start Locations (86 KB)
HS Annual Report 2011-12 (1339 KB)
Children with Disabilities:
The Head Start special needs department provides comprehensive screening, assessment, intervention, and accommodation for children demonstrating developmental delays in skill achievement across components of the curriculum. All special needs services are provided to children and families in an inclusive setting. Head Start certified special educators, speech pathologists, intervention specialists, and psychologists provide accommodations in collaboration with the School District of the City of Erie and the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5.
Head Start centers provide a supportive environment and a developmentally-appropriate, research-based curriculum facilitated by professional, degreed educators. Delivery is individualized to address the comprehensive cognitive, language, social, emotional, and physical needs of each child. The Home Based Program supports the provision of curricular activities within the home environment utilizing technical assistance and training to support the parent as the primary educator.
Family and Community Partnership:
Opportunities are provided for participation in all areas of Head Start from volunteering in the classroom to being a part of the decision-making process through membership on advisory committees and Policy Council. No one is more important in helping achieve Head Start success than parents, and participation is encouraged throughout all levels of the program. Head Start offers several classes and workshops especially for parents including: parenting, nutrition, male involvement, and developmental activities parents can do with their children at home.
Preventative Health Services:
Head Start promotes Preventative Health Services, early intervention and health education to ensure that family members are aware of and use the community’s health resources. The Head Start Health component works to ensure that the physical, dental, nutritional, and mental health of the entire family is addressed in the present and in the future.
- Sign Head Start Partnership agreement ensuring that the child will receive physicals, proper immunization, dental check-up (with necessary follow-up services), and students will attend scheduled classes (4-5 days per week)
- Sign an emergency information form
- Provide income verification
- Meet program eligibility requirements
Follow-up period: Parents are encouraged to meet every other month with case manager.