To Rhode Island Head Start!
Head Start is a federally funded program created in 1965 in
an effort to combat poverty. The program offers a wide range
of services to low-income children aged three to five years
1994 reauthorization of the Head Start Act created Early Head
Start for low-income families with infants, toddlers and pregnant
receive comprehensive services that provide for the education,
health and emotional growth of the child. Services provided
include: health, dental health, mental health, and nutrition.
In addition, Head Start provides services for families including
intensive social services, parent education programs and opportunities
for parents to become actively involved in the Head Start
program. Both Head Start and Early Head Start focus on the
entire family, not just the child.
Start and Early Head Start programs offer flexibility by providing
service options that offer an effective way to reach difficult
to serve families.
2001 and 2002, two reports were released that evaluated the
impact of Head Start programs on children and families. Studies
found that both Head Start and Early Head Start have shown
continued positive impact on the children and families who
participate in the programs.
The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES),
an ongoing, national study of Head Start children and families
released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
shows that children who entered Head Start in Fall 1997 showed
gains in their literacy/language, social and cognitive development
by the end of that year.
terms of parent and family outcomes, the FACES* study shows
that parents of Head Start children generally reported extremely
high levels of satisfaction with Head Start and view Head
Start as an important source of support in rearing children.
of Head Start children also reported spending increased time
reading with their children and more time involved in educationally-focused
recreational activities at home.