Head Start/Early Head Start

Head Start/Early Head Start

Strengthening children, families, and communities through quality education, comprehensive health and family services, and by fostering community partnerships.

Head Start believes that the parent is the child’s first and primary teacher. Parents know their children best and are looked upon as partners in their child’s Early Head Start or Head Start experience.

Head Start History

Head Start began as part of President Lyndon Baines Johnson‘s War on Poverty and The Great Society. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 first authorized the program. The Office of Economic Opportunity’s Community Action Program launched Project Head Start as an eight-week summer program in 1965. At this time Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Mid Nebraska’s Head Start program began. Head Start transitioned into part day, part year programming in the early ‘70s offering services to 54 children and their families in Kearney. Today Community Action Partnership of Mid Nebraska Head Start has center based services and home based services in 15 counties in Nebraska and 2 counties in Kansas and serves 338 children and families. Early Head Start serves 48 pregnant women, infants and toddlers in Buffalo County.

 Early Head Start History

Early Head Start, a program for pregnant women, infants and toddlers, evolved out of Head Start’s long history of providing services to infants and toddlers and was initiated in response to the changing needs of low-income families and research indicating how critical the period from birth to age three is to children’s healthy growth and development. In 1994, the Secretary of Health and Human Services formed an Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers to design EHS. Beginning in 1995, sixty-eight EHS programs were funded to serve more than 5,000 pregnant women and families with children under age three. Community Action Partnership of Mid Nebraska EHS Program began in 2010 and serves 48 pregnant women, infants and toddlers in Buffalo County in center and home based settings.

Head Start Success Story

A little girl from Holdrege Head Start had never been to a dentist. Holdrege Head Start referred the family and when the little girl was seen by the dentist, she had three teeth that needed treatment. A follow-up was then made, and her teeth were fixed the following week. The same little girl also went for her vision exam. It was determined the little girl needed glasses and she came to school with her new glasses two weeks after her vision exam. The primary language of this family is Spanish. The little girl is picking up a lot of language in our program and is continuously learning new English words that she previously didn’t know. She is also in our speech/language enrichment group. We have a partnership with Hability Solution Services, who comes to our program to help children learn more language skills in a small group session. It is designed to help children who have lower speech/language scores, but who do not qualify for services.  Head Start has been very beneficial in the lives of this family.