What truly sets Head Start apart from other early childhood programs is that it is a program for the whole family. We help families identify their needs and build on their strengths in order to achieve their goals and break the cycle of poverty. Parents are recognized as their children’s first and most important teachers. Programs provide parenting education and family literacy services to support adult as well as children’s literacy skills. Parents and staff work together to help children become successful learners.
Families are always welcome and are encouraged to volunteer in the classroom and throughout the program. Special activities are planned to support the involvement of fathers or other significant male figures in their children’s lives.
Head Start families play a key role in the design and operation of their programs through participation on local policy groups – known as Policy Councils or Committees. These experiences help parents develop the leadership skills to become effective advocates for their children.
Here is what some MA parents have said about their experiences at Head Start:
- Head Start has encouraged me to go back to school to work on my college degree – to become a teacher.
- Without Head Start, many families (including my own) would be alone and on their own, struggling to survive.
- Through my experiences with Policy Council and other opportunities offered only through Head Start, I have developed public speaking skills, learned to facilitate meetings, and I have become a strong advocate for my children.
- In Head Start we discovered a program that could help us mentor our foster children’s parents and get the services our children needed.
- I have been shown many opportunities to volunteer time and experience from my local program all the way to the State House and take pride in mentoring other parents to take advantage of the same.
For information about some of the resources available to families, click here.