L.I. Child and Family Development Services, Inc. dba Long Island Head Start, is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Long Island Head Start offers a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the family. Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers. Some programs offer home-based services that assign dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent as the child’s primary teacher.
Over fifty years ago Head Start began as a program for preschoolers. Early Head Start was created to serve Expectant Mothers, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another Pre-K program. Just recently, many Early Head Start programs have been funded to partner directly with existing infant and toddler child care programs, resulting in higher quality services to all children enrolled in the child care program.
Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include:
Early learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development.
Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and development screenings and nutritious meals. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.
Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.